Year of Wonders - Characters Encountering Conflict

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Year of Wonders Essay – Characters Encountering Conflict

Year of Wonders is a deeply moving novel containing heartbreaking themes and stark reality. The novel is based in Eyam, a small English village, in 1666 and written from the point of view of Anna Frith, a non-affluent maid who lost her two young sons and husband to the plague which swept through their village. One of the novels primary themes is conflict, and throughout the book the responder can discover how each of the characters deal with the conflicting issues they are faced with.

With ‘Year of Wonders’ written in first person from Anna’s point of view, the reader get’s to experience her emotions and actions which have been caused by the conflict she is experiencing. Anna reacts physically, emotionally and spiritually to the conflict she is faced with during the time of the Plague.

At certain points in the novel, Anna reacts spiritually to not so much a particular event, but as the events of the plague roll out. Anna frequently doubts her belief in God when the prayers of the community are left unanswered and the town is left wondering why God persists with the Plague. Anna rhetorically questioned her mind many times, an example of this being, “And why should this good woman lie here, in such extremity, when a man like my father lived to waste his reason in drunkenness?” It was situations like these where Anna couldn’t understand God’s actions and why he was doing this, which led to her doubting her belief.

A conflict of peace between two parties, The Bradfords and most of Eyam arises when the Bradfords decide to flee the town in an attempt to escape the Plague. Mr Mompellion, as the priest of their church, and a father-like figure to most of the community, takes a strong reaction to this. Mr. Mompellion does not support the Bradfords actions and believes they are letting down the community. At the beginning of the novel, in spring 1665, Elizabeth Bradford goes to Mr. Mompellion seeking...
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