Year of Wonders

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“I wished to know how things stood in the world”. For Anna, the year of the plague is about a journey from ignorance to knowledge. Discuss. In the extraordinary novel, Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks exposes the difficult yet admirable life of Anna Frith, trapped in a community caught in desperate times. As the plague strikes this small village, ignorance and a fear of the unknown become dominant sensations in Eyam in 1666-1667. Anna is completely unaware of the opportunities to grow and succeed that surround her as she struggles with uneducated parents throughout her childhood. London Tailor, George Viccars, opens Anna’s eyes to the world, inspiring her to learn more about herself and the way in which the world works after bringing the devastating illness known to Anna as, “God’s wrath made manifest” to the village. Anna works hard and dreams of finding a cure for the plague after the loss of her two sons. Anna turns to herblore and together with motherly-like figure Elinor, the pair study together after initially not being “interested” in such beliefs. Anna then goes even further, extending her knowledge in the health area after delivering a child by pure instinct. This is the first of many as from this Anna gains in confidence. She slowly begins to improve her understanding of father Josiah and step mother Aphra and why they came to be how they are, although still despises them for their oblivious actions. However it is at the novel’s conclusion, when Anna flees Eyam due to revealing circumstances that she finally recognizes her ignorance to the world she has been living in. She is able to see most clearly her abilities and skills that have been withheld from her due to an uneducated life. It is at this point when she realizes, “I was alive, and I was young, and I would go on until I found some reason for it”. A child’s upbringing can shape their experiences for the rest of their life; this was the case for Anna Frith. Anna never got to familiarize herself...
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