In the novel Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks the internal strength of the women outweighed the strength of the men. It was evident that through the harsh treatment of women at the time they were able to deal with the loss and suffering of the Plague better than the men. Anna Frith a young widow gains her strength through the terrible events in her life and survives the plague because of her determination and will to live. Anys Gowdie an accomplished and self-reliant woman, breaks away from the norms of society and uses her strength of character to become an early feminist of the time. However Michael Mompellion a brilliant and charismatic young priest emerges as a natural leader during the town’s crisis and shows his strength of character. But after the death of his wife his world is shattered and loses his faith.
Anna Frith’s transformation over the novel demonstrates that from bring a ‘timid girl’ she has drawn her strength from the events in her life, tragic and joyous, and became ‘a woman who had faced more terrors than many warriors’. With this strength she survives the plague and her determination enables to better herself through education. Anna’s thirst for knowledge and genuine love for ‘high language’ leads her to become the town’s healer and midwife. However Anna would not have gained this strength without Elinor Mompellion. Elinor becomes the emotional lynchpin in Anna’s life, helping her to overcome despair and reclaim a sense of purpose after the loss of her children. However a person with real courage such as Anna also readily admits to her fears and underestimates her own strength for example when she turns ‘pale’ at the thought of delivering a baby or going into the mine to risk her life to help Merry Wickfords. Nonetheless through Elinor’s encouragement Anna was able to accomplish such tasks. However such tasks did take a toll on Anna and even someone who is strong