Year of Wonders Essay

890 WordsSep 11, 20134 Pages
Topic: Fear brings out the worse and best in people. Discuss “Year of Wonders” is a novel written by Geraldine Brooks, based on the true events that took place during the Plague in a small town called Eyam. In this novel, a theme that reoccurs throughout is that of fear, and how people are capable of showing their good side, as well as their evil. It is through fear that we get to experience both sides of a person. Fear is one of humanities most primitive and powerful emotion, which forces us to take action in response to any crisis. Another is how the sexton, John Millstone, talks about the fear of death making “…monsters of us all”. The final idea will discuss how any crisis within a community brings out the evildoers, and exploiters of fear and suffering. The emotion of fear is one of the simpler, yet dominant feelings that make humans act when involved in a crisis. In “Year of Wonders”, Anna Frith, the narrator, is one of the first characters to feel afraid of what is possibly to come. When her lodger, George Viccars, dies of the Plague, she instantly fears for her children and closest friends, which shows her love for all, and she expresses herself as a mother figure through this care. This is evident when she rushes to her children following the death of Viccars, and is pleased to feel their skin was “…blessedly cool”, and therefore not yet affected by the Plague. The lack of scientific knowledge and medical information increased greatly the magnitude of the Eyam communities’ fear towards the Plague. Anna conveys her naivety when dealing with George Viccars, when she says, “The fever will break, and you will be well enough presently”. As it was a relatively new disease to them, none, other than outsiders to the town knew of the illness, and were unaware of how to deal with it. Due to the absence of knowledge, many people drew their own conclusions as to

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