Year of Wonders

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Through the extensive use of symbols and imagery, as well as the incorporation of seemingly-foreign historical conventions and the utilisation of a meaningful structure, Geraldine Brooks crafts Year of Wonders to create meaning, presenting her own views and values. The circular structure used, starting three-quarters of the way through the story, and the frequent foreshadowing hooks the reader and generated curiosity, as well as demonstrating the impact of the Plague on the village. However, Brooks' messages are clearly conveyed through the use of symbolism and imagery, as well as references to historical conventions that seem foreign to a modern audience. Two key messages were presented through this: the idea that being a hero is a choice, not a privilege, as well as Brooks' view of the balance required between religion and nature. Through the utilisation of these writing techniques, Brooks crafted a novel rich in meaning.

The circular structure and recurrent foreshadowing employed by Brooks serves to capture and spark curiosity in her readers, as well as to clearly demonstrate the impact of the happenings on the village. By starting the novel when Anna Frith, the protagonist, and Michael Mompellion, the village rector, were both extremely downtrodden and experiencing intense grief, and Anna admitting that she feared that "the line between [herself] and madness is as fine these days as a cobweb", Brooks clearly outlined the place where the plague had left them. The village was empty, and the people were "tired and emotionally drained". This immediately painted a vivid description of the impact of the plague on the village, as well as stimulating curiosity in readers, causing them to wonder what happenings had led to this. Furthermore, the frequent foretelling of important events creates a sense of significance about these events, again generating curiosity, as well as causing the reader to understand and predict the event. From the start of the novel, Anna's...
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