Study Guide

Angela's Ashes Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

  • Frank's now ten years old, which means it's Confirmation time. More importantly for Frank, it also means he'll get another chance at The Collection.
  • This time, instead of spending his money on sweets, he decides to spend his money on watching his friend Quasimodo's sisters take a shower.
  • Quasimodo lets them climb the wall where they'll get a good view of his sisters showering, but Mikey Molloy gets there first and pushes the boys out of the way.
  • Mikey climbs to the top of the spout to get a better view of Quasimodo's sisters, but as Mikey's masturbating, the spout he's holding on to gives way and he falls to the ground.
  • Quasimodo's mother comes out and before he knows it, Angela's there as well. She takes him back home by the ear and makes him swear that he wasn't looking at the naked girls.
  • The next day, after his confirmation, Frank gets a nosebleed and feels so badly that he doesn't care about The Collection.
  • He spends several days in bed, until his doctor comes to see him. The doctor tells his parents that Frank has typhoid fever and he's rushed to the hospital.
  • At the hospital, Frank's in a daze and unable to speak. There's even a point where the doctors think he's so far gone that they call in a priest to administer the last rites.
  • One day after Frank's gotten a little better, he hears a girl's voice saying hello. Her name is Patricia Madigan, and she has diphtheria.
  • Patricia and Frank become good friends and she even lets him borrow a book on the history of England. She reads Frank poetry and then has him memorize it so he can recite it when there isn't anyone around.
  • Sister Rita, the nurse at the hospital, doesn't think the two should be socializing and moves Frank to another wing right when they're in the middle of reading The Highwayman.
  • Frank's moved to the old fever ward and has no one to keep him company except for Seamus, the friendly janitor.
  • Two days later, Patricia dies. Frank misses Patricia and is sad that he'll never know the ending of The Highwayman.
  • Lucky for Frank, Seamus learns the poem from a man in his pub and recites the ending to him.
  • Frank's finally out of the hospital in October but has to spend the entire month resting in bed.
  • Frank can't wait to get out of bed and return to school in November, but as soon as he gets to school, the new headmaster tells him that since he's missed two months of school he has to go back a year, which means he'll be in the same class as Malachy Jr.
  • Oh, the humiliation.
  • It isn't long until Frank shows Mr. O'Halloran that he belongs in sixth class by writing a story titled "Jesus and the Weather."
  • Frank enjoys Mr. O'Halloran's class because it's the first time a teacher allows his students to ask questions and doesn't insult or smack them if they ask why or don't know the right answer.
  • A few months pass and Frank is getting ready for Christmas dinner at the hospital. At the hospital the nurses aren't very nice to him. They make Frank eat Christmas dinner alone and don't even say goodbye to him when he leaves.

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