Matilda Cook's Yellow Fever Epidemic In Philadelphia

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Matilda Cook, or Mattie, is a 14 year old girl who is stuck in a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. Thousands died after only a month, and it wasn't long before her mother got it and sent her away to the country. All did not go well on the way there. Her grandfather got sick, prohibiting them from moving to the fever-free country land. Mattie was left to help keep him alive. Shortly after, Mattie fell ill and woke in a huge hospital surrounded by other yellow fever victims. Fortunately, her grandfather survived. However, this was only the very beginning of Mattie’s struggle to stay alive.
Matilda is extremely selfless. When her mother contracted the Yellow Fever, Mattie would never leave her side. She was there to clean her and did anything she could do to help. The doctor and her mother however, did not want her to be around and exposed to the danger. She did not agree. “‘No!’ I stamped my foot on the floor. ‘You can’t send me away! I need to be here-I need to help! You can't send me away!’”(page 72). Although she decided to agree with her mom and left, Matilda would rather stay with her mom and die of the fever then go to the safe country. This shows a great deal of ambition and
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She was sent out to the clean country air with Grandfather, and ran into another issue. The guards into the new city thought that Grandfather had the fever because of his chronic cough, leaving them both behind without food, water, or clean clothes. Then he did get the fever. Matilda did everything she could to help her grandfather, including find water. “I slipped Grandfather’s canteen from his belt… ‘I’ll be back soon,’ I whispered as I kissed the damp white hair above his ear.”(page 85) She searched for food and water until she was light-headed and couldn’t walk. This clearly shows her need to care for Grandfather more than herself. Matilda is very selfless for caring for her family member more than

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