Analysis Of Geraldine Brooks 'The Plague Will Make Heros Of Us All'

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‘The Plague will make heros of us all’..... and ..... ‘these times, they do make monsters of us all.’ To what extent does the plague bring out the very best and the very worst in people? Geraldine Brooks‘ compelling historical novel ‘Year of Wonders‘ explores the reaction of a village in response to the terrible tragedy of the Bubonic plague. The onset of this deadly disease causes the negative side of human character to be revealed as the contestant strain of the dead cause villagers to turn on each other with acts of greed, witchcraft and scapegoating. However through the plague joyous events of births occur, solid friendships are made and the protagonist Anna evolves into a mature woman asserting both her femininity and her individuality…show more content…
Anna begins the story a shy insecure housemaid afraid of the simplest of things such as conversing with the towns rector, yet later that year Anna draws on new found confidence to “talk to him without reserve.” Anna also conquers her fears of midwifery, (as her mother died in child birth) and mining, performing both crafts for the benefit of others. The dramatic change Anna experiences causes Elinor to state “you were like a flame blown by the wind until it is almost extinguished. All I had to do was put the glass around you. And now, how you shine! Her lack of ambition is also clearly evident in the beginning as she “longed to learn about the places and people I could never hope to see.” By the end of the text however Anna had grown enough in confidence to leave her once loved village and travel to another country and perform her new found passion as a healer. Her development from a young servant girl to a strong and independent woman was largely a result of the plague as Anna had greatness thrust upon her causing her growth in character and maturity. Year of Wonders explores the reactions made by characters when confronted with the crisis of the plague. It is clear that Anna was able to brave the challenges that she confronted causing her to mature and to become better off as a person. It is also evident that Michael Mompellion and Aphra were unable to cope with the pressure and stress associated with the death of family members resulting from the plague. The text displayed how the plague could bring out the best or worst in the people who experienced
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