Formative Moment Analysis Questions- “Typhoid Fever” and “The Education of Frank McCourt”

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Formative Moment Analysis Questions- “Typhoid Fever” and “The Education of Frank McCourt”

Directions: After reading both "Typhoid Fever" and "The Education of Frank McCourt," please answer the following questions to be turned in the next class. Please post them onto your personal wiki page and also bring in a hard copy.
"Typhoid Fever"

1. What was the saddest or most shocking episode in "Typhoid Fever"?

The saddest episode in “Typhoid Fever” was when Frank found out the end to the poem, “The Highwayman” and found himself completely alone, completely stranded with the ending of a poem he had so tensely waited concluding with a downright tragedy. Also, since Patricia was dead, he no longer had a companion to make him laugh, and with the poem ending with such a tragic note, the mood was doused into an entity of double sadness, being that two sad events happened consecutively. F block

2. The Kerry nurse asks sharply, "What is there to laugh about?" Find two episodes of comic relief. Should comedy be used in a sad story?

One comic relief is when Frank is explaining what he looks like to Patricia. “I have black hair.” “You and millions.” I have brown eyes with bits of green called hazel.” “You and thousands.” From there I can see that Patricia is a pretty funny person. Another comic relief I found was when Patricia whispers in a heavy Kerry accent trying to imitate the Kerry nurse. “Patricia whispers again in a heavy Kerry accent, No laughing, Francis, you could b doing serious damage to your internal apparatus. Say your rosary, Francis, and pray for your internal apparatus.” I like her sarcasm and how she likes to imitate people. I think there should be some comedies in a sad story because I don’t think a story should contain only sad moments; it should have something so it can lighten up the mood of the story. A Block

3. Describe the formative moment from "Typhoid Fever." What did young Frank learn about himself in the hospital? What role did the poetry play in his formative moment?
The formative moment in “Typhoid Fever” that changed Frank in life was finding his love for literature. In the hospital, he finds that loves Shakespeare like “jewels in my mouth” and sparks the principal for learning literature. Also, he finds that he loves the poems that Patricia recites to him and pursues to finish this poem. Patricia becomes a great motive for his passion in poetry, which shapes him into an English teacher later on. G Block

"The Education of Frank McCourt"

1. Do you think people without high school diplomas should be allowed to enroll in universities? Why or why not?
2. Describe the formative moment from "The Education of Frank McCourt." What did the adult Frank learn about himself in the classroom? What role did his students play in his formative moment?

The formative moment from this “The Education of Frank McCourt” was when Frank past the age of fifty, realizes that although he teaches his students to be brave enough to write something honest and deep from their heart, he still didn’t dare to do so with his own personal memoir. His students played a large role in this moment; they showed Frank that though at first they had no confidence in themselves or their writing, or they couldn’t confront their personal demons, they could overcome those problems and “dig deep.” Laurie, one of Frank’s students, proved that she could do this when she wrote a very personal story that was incredibly meaningful and sacred to her, something that she had been battling with inside for a long time. When Frank saw that his students were doing this and he wasn’t, he decided he too could step up to the plate and finish his own story. F Block

Making the Connection

In a brief paragraph, please compare/contrast the formative moments from both essays. What commonalities do these moments share? What are the differences?
The formative moments were similar in that they both came about through some sort of reading or writing. In the first, Frank first discovers his love of stories through reading Shakespeare and poetry, and in the second, about forty years later, Frank discovers that he has the courage to write his own story after teaching a class of students to write. In both moments, Frank’s life is changed; his discovery at the age of ten shapes his future as a writer and a teacher, and his discovery at the age of fifty allows him to come to terms with his life and his ghosts, and gives him the courage to write it all down and get it out.
These two formative moments contrast interestingly in that they are somewhat reflective. The first formative moment is when Frank is just a child, and it allows him and encourages him to become a write. The second formative moment takes place when Frank is already a writer of sorts, but doesn’t have the courage to write about his childhood (when the first formative moment took place). It’s interesting to see how backward it is. They are also different, of course, in that his childhood formative moment makes him look towards his future, but his “retired” formative moment makes him look back to his past. F Block


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