The Doomsday Book

Topics: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Doomsday Book Pages: 2 (507 words) Published: April 2, 2014

In the novel The Doomsday Book bye Connie Willis, the exposition begins with the protagonist, Kivrin, who is preparing to travel back in time to 1320 in attempt to examine the people living in that period. This time period has been announced previously as dangerous, and few people have been sent before. Mr. Basingame has left Mr. Gilchrist in charge while he vacations, not wanting to deal with the risks Kivrin faces. Mr. Gilchrist is to be held responsible for Kivrin’s journey; however, he has spent little time preparing her ‘drop’ and making sure it is safe, and this upsets Mr. Dunworthy her tutor.

The narrative hook occurs when Mr. Dunworthy is at a pub waiting for Badri, the technician, to fix Kivrin’s location so she is able to return to 2048 in two weeks. Unfortunately, Badri faints back at the lab making it impossible for him to explain what rubbish Dunworthy speaks of.

In the rising action, Badri is discovered as the cause of the deadly influenza forcing all of Oxford to be put in isolation due to its health risks. Mr. Dunworthy must figure out what Badri was trying to tell him back at the pub, and while all of that is happening, Kivrin has arrived in what is expected to be 1320. Kivrin is immediately ill with the disease that is quickly spreading, and her vaccinations seem to be of no help. A man named Gawyn happened to be riding by Kivrin’s drop location and takes her to the manor of Lord Guillaume. She meets Agnes and Rosemund, two young girls; Lady Eliwys, Lord Guillaume’s wife; and Lad Imeyne, Lady Eliwys’ mother. They help nurse Kivrin back to health, however, Lady Imeyne discovers Kivrin’s false identity and fakes amnesia out of pure despair. Unfortunately, Kivrin is unsuccessful while trying to find her drop location, but she continues to bond with Agnes and Rosemund.

The climax of the novel takes place when Mr. Dunworthy and Kivrin find out that she was sent to 1348 rather than 1320, the exact year the Bubonic Plague took over Europe....
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