Angela’s Ashes

Theresa Carmody Character Analysis

A young, pretty Limerick girl who’s suffering from consumption (tuberculosis), Theresa Carmody loses her virginity to Frank McCourt, just as Frank loses his virginity to her. Theresa’s sudden death from tuberculosis shortly after having had sex with Frank is one of the key events of the second half of the memoir—her death terrifies Frank, since he assumes that he’s condemned her to an eternity in hell.

Theresa Carmody Quotes in Angela’s Ashes

The Angela’s Ashes quotes below are all either spoken by Theresa Carmody or refer to Theresa Carmody. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Irish Social Tensions Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scribner edition of Angela’s Ashes published in 1999.
Chapter 15 Quotes

We take our ease on the sofa a while till she says, Don't you have more telegrams to deliver? and when we sit up she gives a little cry, Oh, I'm bleeding.
What's up with you?
I think it's because it's the first time.
I tell her, Wait a minute. I bring the bottle from the kitchen and splash the iodine on her injury. She leaps from the sofa, dances around the parlor like a wild one and runs into the kitchen to douse herself with water.
After she dries herself she says, Lord, you're very innocent. You're not supposed to be pouring iodine on girls like that.

Related Characters: Frank McCourt (speaker), Theresa Carmody (speaker)
Page Number: 324
Explanation and Analysis:

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Frost is already whitening the fresh earth on the grave and I think of Theresa cold in the coffin, the red hair, the green eyes. I can't understand the feelings going through me but I know that with all the people who died in my family and all the people who died in the lanes around me and all the people who left I never had a pain like this in my heart and I hope I never will again.

Related Characters: Frank McCourt (speaker), Theresa Carmody
Page Number: 325
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 17 Quotes

But I want to know about Theresa Carmody in hell, Father.
No, my child. She is surely in heaven. She suffered like the martyrs in olden times and God knows that's penance enough. You can be sure the sisters in the hospital didn't let her die without a priest.
Are you sure, Father?
I am, my child.

Related Characters: Frank McCourt (speaker), Father Gregory (speaker), Theresa Carmody
Page Number: 343
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Theresa Carmody Character Timeline in Angela’s Ashes

The timeline below shows where the character Theresa Carmody appears in Angela’s Ashes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Irish Social Tensions Theme Icon
Poverty, Survival, and Morality Theme Icon
Catholicism, Sexuality, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Misery, Drunkenness, and Escape Theme Icon
Inside the house, the young woman, introducing herself as Theresa Carmody, tells Frank to take off his pants so that she can dry them. Theresa... (full context)
Catholicism, Sexuality, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
Frank continues delivering telegrams to the Carmody house (and having sex with Theresa) for the next weeks. One day he shows up to the house and finds Theresa’s... (full context)
Irish Social Tensions Theme Icon
Catholicism, Sexuality, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
Misery, Drunkenness, and Escape Theme Icon
On Sunday, Frank goes to church. He senses that he’s sent Theresa to hell—by taking her virginity, he made her sin. Furthermore, since Theresa had tuberculosis, she... (full context)
Chapter 16
Catholicism, Sexuality, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
...source of income when he’s sixteen, and he still feels guilty about having sex with Theresa Carmody. A year has passed since her death—Frank is now fifteen years old. He contemplates... (full context)
Chapter 17
Irish Social Tensions Theme Icon
Poverty, Survival, and Morality Theme Icon
Catholicism, Sexuality, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
Misery, Drunkenness, and Escape Theme Icon
...on his patron saint, as Francis didn’t help when Frank prayed for the life of Theresa Carmody. Frank begins to weep. Suddenly, a hand grabs him—it is Father Gregory, a local... (full context)
Catholicism, Sexuality, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
...Father Gregory waits a few moments, then begins to talk to Frank. Gregory explains that Theresa has undoubtedly gone to heaven—she would have been provided with a priest at the hospital,... (full context)
Poverty, Survival, and Morality Theme Icon
Catholicism, Sexuality, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Misery, Drunkenness, and Escape Theme Icon
...his spare time, he reads the newspapers, improving his reading skills. He continues thinking about Theresa Carmody, but believes that she’s in heaven. As the months go on, Frank wins Mr.... (full context)