Year of Wonders Essay

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‘Mompellion is a man who follows his God unselfishly and courageously’ Discuss

Geraldine Brooks portrays Mompellion as a complicated and imperfect man who unfavorably leads Eyam through his concept of God’s ways. The “casket of gold” which God had sent to Eyam was used to “refine” the population was Mompellion’s view of the plague as shown in ‘Year Of Wonders’. Mompellion’s deep and complex nature shown towards women, and also the incompetency of the citizens in Eyam is reflected in his actions through the year of 1666. Brooks shows Mompellion’s nature to be both courageous but also flawed.

Mompellion’s courageous and unselfish caliber was shown through the decisions he made regarding the towns fate. The “strength of his will” persisted him to decide the possible fate of Eyam, for being the self-announced leader he made the decisions, which were needed. Mompellion believed that “God Himself had placed the truth of it into [his] heart”, so only ‘he’ knew what was needed. But Brooks showed Mompellion’s actions, of closing the churchyard and having church in the open air, burning everything to be rid of plague seeds and also to confine the plague within Eyam to be the reason why the Eyam plague was the last record of the disease. Although all these harsh, but needed decisions did come at a toll, for after the plague had passed Mompellion was demoted and repulsed by the town for what he did. Mompellion’s reasoning for hope through the plague called for a “better season coming”, that “God would have [Eyam] shine” whilst battling the influenza. The appeal for nobleness in the town and for ‘heroism’ sparked a great communal bond through Eyam. Mompellion’s uniting of the community and promise that “no one will die alone” initiated a newfound courage through the township. Brooks shows Mompellion’s actions through 1666 to be inspirational and courageous, but they came at a toll.

The unpublicized nature of Mompellion’s thoughts towards others, especially women...
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