Year of Wonders

Topics: Fiction, Novel, Sociology Pages: 2 (714 words) Published: March 21, 2013
Year Of Wonders Essay 2
Whilst Anys and Aphra are minor characters, they still play an important role in the novel, do you agree?

In the historical novel The Year Of Wonders, Although the author Geraldine Brooks portrays both Anys and Aphra as support characters, both Anys and Aphra play an important role in the novel, this will be explored in three ways, Anys’s view on the patriarchal society and how she effects the town, Aphra’s importance in the town and her influence on Anna, and lastly Anys’s influence on inspiring and teaching Anna.

Anys Gowdie may not have a large acting role in the novel but her presence in the novel compensates for that, Anys plays an important role in the town because of her attitude towards the patriarchal society and her unique views on religion and on the men. In a time where women were living in a society where they were suppressed, uneducated and restricted in their occupations, Anys and Mem demonstrate a new form of women that are emerging among the village of Eyam. They challenge the values of the period in several ways.  They are highly educated in herbal medicine, independent and non-conforming to the conventions of society. In particular, the Gowdies sense of uniqueness is what allows them to contribute to positively impacting the village. Anys shows how Barber surgeons “knew nothing of women’s body” and how she does, just by being a woman. Brooks verges on an idea of how logic, science and independence (all followed by the Gowdies) allows one to be stronger than those who oblige themselves to superstition and religion, thus showing us the importance of Anys’s character in the novel.

Anys Gowdie doesn’t just have a big impact on the town of Eyam but Anys also plays an important role with her unlikely friendship with Anna. Anys inspires Anna to be a strong, independent woman. For it is “Truculent Anys” that Anna hears “whispering impatiently” in her ear as she tries to deliver the Daniels baby. Anna...
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