'Year of Wonders' Essay

Topics: Eyam, Woman, The Plague Pages: 4 (1301 words) Published: April 20, 2014
'Year of Wonders' Essay

Topic: What are the pivotol experiences that lead to Anna's discovery of her true self?

The experiences of an individual have the ability to immensely affect and shape their character, life and ultimately, their whole future. Geraldine Brooks' novel, 'Year of Wonders' shows us that catastrophe and disasters can lead people to change in many ways, sometimes revealing their true identity. Following an outbreak of the plague, the villagers in Eyam, a small town in England, make the difficult decision to quarantine themselves and block their connections with the outside world. This story is followed through the eyes of Anna Frith, a single mother of two boys, who in the end, emerges as the unlikely hero of the novel. During the events that unfold during the plague year, Anna sees herself going through many changes. Once a shy, reserved young woman, Anna eventually makes the discovery of her true self; of the person inside of her who is not timid, but strong, assertive and confident. Many of these changes emerge through a series of key events that see Anna become who she truly is; an independent woman who becomes the hero born out of a year of plague.

Anna realises that it is possible for her to become an independent woman. This discovery is made whilst she attempts to secure Merry Wickford's rights to her father's mine. As Anna makes her way down through the mossy shaft of the mine, into the muddy cavern, she is, at first, overwhelmed by the darkness and enclosed space that surrounds her. Whilst the thought of dying buried under rubble, like her husband, stays in the back of her mind; "I tried to manage my terrors by concentrating only on the work and not on the walls of slimy darkness that seemed to advance and recede with every movement of my candle...", Anna tries only to focus on helping Merry. Elinor is always right behind her, to encourage her and to keep her going. The damp, narrow cavern offers no encouragement to their...
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