Angela's Ashes Questions and Answers
by Frank McCourt

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What rules does Frank break?

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A good example of Frank's breaking the rules comes when he's admitted to hospital after suddenly coming down with typhoid fever. The hospital, which is run by the Catholic Church, has very strict rules against fraternizing between the sexes. This is to ensure an appropriate degree of propriety. Another important rule states that patients with typhoid like Frank are not allowed to have any contact with patients in the diphtheria ward.

Yet Frank breaks both rules in getting to know Patricia, a fellow patient at the hospital. She introduces Frank to the works of Shakespeare, sparking in him a life-long love of literature. For the first time in his life, Frank has been acquainted with the beauty of written language, and it's truly a life-changing experience. Even after Patricia passes away—she's actually dying of diphtheria when Frank first meets her—Frank continues to read voraciously during his period of convalescence, a habit that will lead to his desire to become a professional writer.

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