Year of Wonders

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“I wonder if you know how much you have changed “. In what way does Anna change in the ‘Year of Wonders’? It is evident throughout the novel ‘Year of Wonders’ that Geraldine Brooks makes the point that some characters have difficulties with societal pressures. Through the use of her protagonist Anna Frith, Brooks was able to show us that it was possible to break through societal pressures when the individual was ready and eager to change. Difficulties including hierarchal status, religious morals and one of Brooks on going themes- women’s roles within society. We see Anna able to change because she no longer “dwells any more on things in the past”. Anna is able to break through society’s structures and become more powerful and self-confident than before.

Change is difficult for everyone, people fear change. They genuinely believe that when you've been doing something a particular way for a long time, it must be a good way to do things. In the ‘Year of Wonders’ there is a strong belief in the role of religion. After believing and following the rules of the church, Anna and village were accustomed to the way things were until the plague. The plague forced them to question why these things were happening; Anna begins to see that religion may not be the cause of the plague she can see that “Perhaps the Plague was neither of God nor the Devil, but simply a thing in Nature”. Throughout the novel we see Anna change and why she was able to become more powerful and self-confident than before, Anna was able to view the world without the influence of religion on her day to day deeds, allowing her to become a whole new person.

In the village of Eyam the Bradford family are at the top of the social hierarchy within the town. Villagers “doffed their caps and women curtsied” as they walked past, they were held in the highest regard for no particular reason. The family had lived in the Hall for generations and they were lucky enough to have held the respect of the...
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