Study Guide

Angela's Ashes Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

  • War's broken out all over Europe and the English are recruiting Irishmen to work in munitions factories. After a bit of convincing, Malachy Sr. heads over to work in England.
  • Things are looking hopeful for the McCourts now that in two weeks time Malachy Sr. will be bringing in the bucks.
  • Two weeks pass: bupkis. (Look it up.)
  • All the other families who receive money from their fathers are eating, drinking, and just plain cheery while the McCourts sit and watch.
  • Frank gets an eye infection and Angela takes him to the dispensary, "where the poor people see doctors and get their medicine" (9.69).
  • At the dispensary, Mr. Coffey and Mr. Kane are in charge and they decide who gets help and who doesn't. So it's best to play nice with them even if they are total jerks.
  • After laughing at Frank's infected eyes, Mr. Coffey and Mr. Kane give Angela a docket to see the doctor.
  • The doctor tells Angela that Frank needs to go to the hospital immediately because he's got "the worst case of conjunctivitis [he's] ever seen in [his] life" (9.90).
  • While at the hospital, Frank runs into Seamus and Mr. Timoney. Seamus recites new poems to Frank, including a favorite of Patricia's: The Owl and the Pussycat.
  • Seamus eventually goes off to work in England but tells Frank he'll have his wife write him a letter.
  • After a month, even though his eyes aren't fully healed, Frank's released from the hospital.
  • Bridey Hannon learns that Malachy Sr. is drinking so much in England that he doesn't even have enough money left over to pay his rent.
  • Angela realizes that Malachy Sr. has left her no choice but to ask for help from the dispensary, even though it means that "you're at the end of your rope and maybe one level above tinkers, knackers and street beggars in general" (9.130).
  • It's only after Mr. Coffey and Mr. Kane humiliate Angela that they give her the money she needs.

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