Elements of "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks

Essay by niki113090Junior High, 9th grade March 2007

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Loosely based on a true story of a Derbyshire village, Eyam, which was struck by the plague in 1666, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks tells of a hero in the making. Anna Frith, a young widow who works as a servant for the rector, Mr. Michael Mompellion, and his wife, Elinor, befriends her employers and together they emerge as heroes and local healers. Through the occurring unexpectancies, unique friendships formed, and brutal hard work, this trio takes on difficulties beyond belief. As the year progresses and nearly two-thirds of their tiny village is killed by the plague, Anna and the Mompellions set-out to stop it all costs, causing this challenging year to be a year of wonders.

Throughout this novel, many things happened that were clearly unexpected. Whether it is death, unkindness, or suffering, a lot of events in this novel turned out to be a big surprise. For one, it never dawned on Michael that his wife would die so suddenly.

No one expected Aphra to go insane enough to stab the rector’s wife to death. This tragedy brought much depression upon the rector and Anna because Elinor’s death occurred without any warning. It is made apparent that his wife’s passing took a toll on the rector when Brooks writes “He had expended the last of his strength in the Delf, fighting those who tried, finally, to lead him away from Elinor’s body. He clung to her till nightfall and nothing anyone could say would budge him from the spot. In the end, it was the old rector, Mr. Stanley, who commanded the men to remove him by force, so that Elinor’s body could be decently tended.” (261) Also, the Bradford’s nastiness towards, including the verbal abuse that she takes from Elizabeth, comes on as an unexpected and...