Typhoid fever

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TYPHOID FEVER


BY FRANK McCOURT

Name __________________________ Period ____


10 A/H English

Voice/Point of View – “Typhoid Fever”


Warm Up: Think back on a childhood experience when you feel an adult treated you unfairly. It could be a time that you felt you were punished unjustly by a parent or teacher or a time when someone told you to do something that you didn’t want to do. Looking back now, can you see the situation through the eyes of the adult? Was there a reason the person acted the way she/he did? How does looking back change the way you see the situation?

Explain the differences among the following points of view. Include specific features of each type and things to consider as a reader of each one.




  • Omniscient:


  • Third-person limited:


  • First-person:


What are some possible issues with a first-person narrator?



Why might it be good to have a first-person narrator?



Typhoid Fever from Angela’s Ashes

By: Frank McCourt

Historical Context Notes


  • Angela’s Ashes is a memoir from McCourt growing up in Limerick, Ireland (one of three McCourt memoirs) – others are ‘Tis
    and Teacher Man

    • 1930’s-1940’s

    • Lived in a slum where typhoid and diphtheria common

  • Typhoid

    • Fever


    • Caused by contaminated food or water

    • Causes body to waste away

    • Infections that spread easily

    • McCourt got fever when 10 and was sent to fever hospital

  • Diphtheria

    • Spread by contact with others

    • Starts as sore throat and can suffocate someone in end

    • Infection that spreads easily

  • Fever hospital

  • Blood transfusion

    • McCourt was given blood transfusion from soldiers stationed in Limerick garrison

  • World War II

  • King Henry VIII – Moving from Catholicism to Anglicanism

    • 1491-1547

    • Had 6 wives

    • Started the English divide from the Roman Catholic church so he could divorce his wife

  • “The Highwayman” poem

    • By Alfred Noyes, 1880-1958

    • Based upon a true story of highwayman who falls in love with an innkeeper’s daughter

    • Highwaymen were known to rob stagecoaches
      • Seen as popular romantic figures in 18th century


    • Nuns have such a problem with the story because woman commits suicide

  • Great Famine

    • Ireland --1845-1847

    • Blight -- Causes all of potato crops to fail

    • Approximately one million people starved to death

    • Kindled a wave of Irish immigration to US – Between 1820 and 1975, 4.7 million Irish settled in America.

Typhoid Fever” from Angela’s Ashes



Discussion Questions:


  1. From what point of view is this story told?



  1. Based on McCourt’s biography and the events of the piece, what do you think is the conflict (the struggle at the heart of all of the action)?



  1. How old are Frank and Patricia?



  1. What is Typhoid Fever? How do you get it?


  1. How would you describe Frances (Frank) McCourt? Where is he and why?


  1. How would you describe Patricia? Why is she there?


  1. Who is Seamus? How would you describe him?


  1. What does he bring to Frank? Why could he get in trouble?


  1. Who comes to visit Frank each week? What does she bring him? What does this mean? Why might this detail be meaningful in establishing Frank’s circumstances?

  1. In evaluating the credibility of an autobiography, it is important to take the setting into consideration. How credible is McCourt’s recollection of the hospital rules about laughing and singing?



  1. In one of the books from Patricia, McCourt reads some Shakespeare. What are the lines? What does Frank think of them? What do the narrator’s thoughts reveal about him?



  1. What is going on in the second poem that Patricia tells Frank?


  1. Where is Frank moved? Why?


  1. Why is his new location so creepy? What happened there in the past?


  1. Think about the conflict, the struggle that Frank experienced in this excerpt. What do you think is the climax, the point at which one side triumphs over the other?


  1. What happens to Patricia? How?



  1. Besides that they were friends, why else is Frank upset about Patricia’s passing?



  1. What does Seamus do for Frank after Patricia’s death?


  1. How does the poem end?



  1. How do the lines from “The Highwayman” contrast with the stark reality of the Fever Hospital? Why do you think the poem appeals to the two children?


  1. What role did poetry play in the story? Why did McCourt include it?


    • Do you think that the nurses treated Seamus and Patricia fairly? Do you think Frank’s recollection was truthful? In what ways?


    • Do you think that the point of view impacted how we as the reader saw different characters? Explain.


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