7 January 2013
How Mattie Changed During the Yellow Fever Epidemic
When Mattie Cook survived the Yellow Fever Epidemic that swept through Philadelphia in 1793, her whole life was changed. Both her character & the circumstances of her life changed a lot. Also, her relationships and responsibilities have changed too. Before the epidemic, Mattie was just an average teenager with the same problems most teens had. But after the epidemic, Mattie’s life became very different. Before the yellow fever, Mattie lived with her Mother and her Grandfather. After the fever ended, Mattie lived with her mother, Nell, Eliza, Joseph, Robert, and William. Also, before mother got sick with yellow fever, she ran the coffeehouse, took care of Mattie, and woke up early to take care of chores. But after the epidemic, Mattie ran the coffeehouse in a partnership with Eliza, has too help take care of the children, and is the one who now gets up to take care of chores. She now has to take on a lot more responsibilities than before the epidemic.
Mattie’s relationships also have changed. She now admits to herself now that she likes Nathaniel Benson. After the epidemic she and Nathaniel have both matured & have a more easy and confident relationship. She now views Eliza, Joseph, Nell, Robert, and William like family and feels responsible for them. During the fever, Mattie’s character also changed a lot. She is now more grateful for all that she has and realizes how lucky she was to have survived. She has also matured, become more conservative and knows how to look after herself. Although Mattie is still grieving for Grandfather, Polly, and all of the other victims of the yellow fever, she is very grateful that her mother is safe and well. She is also grateful that Nell, Eliza, Robert, William, Joseph, and Nathaniel Benson have survived.