Life in Ireland & Typhoid Fever

6 June 2016

During the 1930s in Ireland, the majority of the people lived in the countryside. There were several late marriages and high birth-rates in the rural areas of Ireland at this time. Numerous people from Ireland were immigrating to England because of overcrowding and poor economic conditions. Ireland was also fighting an economic war with Britain at this time. Some popular forms of entertainment in Ireland were cinema, cross-road dancing, and sports.

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2.There are several similarities to the poem about the highwayman and the story of Patricia and Frankie. In “The Highwayman” Bess, the landlord’s daughter was not allowed to talk to the highway man because of her father. This is similar to “Typhoid Fever” because Frank and Patricia were not allowed to talk to each other because the nuns and nurses wouldn’t allow it because of their diseases. Another similarity is that Bess dies in “The Highwayman” and Patricia dies in “Typhoid Fever”.

It also seemed as if Frank was falling in love with Patricia, like how the thief had fallen in love with Bess. In “Typhoid Fever” Frank stated, “I’d love to do that myself, come by moonlight for Patricia in the next room not giving a hoot though hell should bar the way.” My inference of this line was that Frank felt that his relationship with Patricia was similar to the thief’s relationship with Bess.

3.Frank McCourt was able to re-create the voice of a 10-year-old boy in “Typhoid Fever” because the events described in “Typhoid Fever” were of his own. “Typhoid Fever” came from a memoir Frank had written, which was called Angela’s Ashes. A memoir is a biography or an account of historical events, especially one written from personal knowledge. I also think Frank McCourt was able to re-create the voice of a 10-year-old boy because of how he had the main character act and talk. For example, when Patricia asks how old he is and appears disappointed when he says ten, Frank says, “But I’ll be eleven in August, next month.” Usually children want to be perceived as older.

So when you ask a child how old they are, they usually are very exact, saying the year and month. Another example form the story is how Frank reacts when Patricia mimics the nun. In the story it says, “Then Patricia whispers, Give thanks, Francis, give thanks, and say your rosary, Francis and I laugh so hard a nurse runs in to see if I’m all right.” If an adult had heard Patricia mimic the nun they would be able to control their laughter enough so that the nurse would not have heard anything.

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