Year Of Wonders Analysis

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“Year of Wonders shows just how little real power individuals have.” Discuss. Geraldine Brooks’ ‘Year of Wonders’ presents the struggle for survival braved by the village of Eyam throughout the year of the plague 1666. During the year, many individuals are forced to accept their lack of influence in regards to the manner of their own lives. When the bubonic plague arrives in the predominately illiterate, highly superstitious and greatly religious community, the force of nature proves to be a most significant factor in the seemingly inevitable passage of death for many. While the empowering and sometimes dictatorial influence of Michael Mompellion’s religious dogma and the uprise of women’s capability provide the novels title with multiple resonant meanings, it is ultimately the ability of nature to “reclaim its place” that supersedes the very structures on which the human population in this remote English village has founded their existence. When presented with devastation on an unprecedented scale, the largely powerless villagers initially look towards the power of unwavering religious faith in seeking guidance from their rector, Michael Mompellion. Mompellion believes the plague to be a test by which God intends to “chastise the souls He would save”, and accordingly insists that his congregation accept the onus of voluntary quarantine. While the ability of…show more content…
Whilst Anna Frith exults in the opportunity to exhibit resourcefulness and escape from the strict patriarchal and religious ideals of her time, the surrounding villagers are largely portrayed as helpless to the power of the contagion. Essentially, Brooks’ exploration of the bubonic plague’s passage through Eyam in 1665 acts as a depiction of humanity in times of trauma: in which responses are limited and choice is taken

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