Year of Wonders- Power

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Year of wonders essay- the year of wonders shows just how little real power individuals have The year of wonders, written by Geraldine brooks, is set in 1666 the year of the plague in an isolated mountain village. The villagers of Eyam are shown how little real power each of the individuals has during the plague. In a strict- based society, wealth and position cannot protect against the plague which strikes indiscriminately. While power and choices in the 17th century are determined by class, patriarchy with it entrenched gender expectations reveal how little power women have compared to men. It is also revealed the most individuals have little power and at times, no power, over their fears and grief that result in destructive behaviours. However, this text also shows that individuals can empower themselves even when the threat seems insoluble. In the village of Eyam, people are still unable to protect themselves from the plague despite their position or amount of wealth they have. Throughout the whole text, it was shown the “the plague is cruel...It blows and fall again upon raw sorrow, so that before you have mourned one person that you love, another is ill in your arms”. Despite all the terrors during the plague, heroes and natural leaders emerged such as Michael and Anna. Michael showed his leadership skills by suggesting the isolation of the village so that there would be “no case of plague in all of Derbyshire that can be traced to our village”. The leadership skills shown by Michael provided a contrast between him and the Bradford family, where there was “no sign of wise leadership in the way he conducted his household”. However, those belonging in higher classes, such as Colonel Bradford, have the power to leave infected areas and are able to change their destiny unlike the lower classes such as Anna or Elinor although the colonel’s “family was first here...villagers look to you”. Although authority and choices in the 17th century are pre- determined by...
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