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Year of Wonders A Journal of the Plague Year. Restoration England After the Civil War - uncertain times Derbyshire District - Village of fewer than 500.

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Presentation on theme: "Year of Wonders A Journal of the Plague Year. Restoration England After the Civil War - uncertain times Derbyshire District - Village of fewer than 500."— Presentation transcript:

1 Year of Wonders A Journal of the Plague Year

2 Restoration England After the Civil War - uncertain times Derbyshire District - Village of fewer than 500 Plague arrived in 1665 In fiction we can see how the plague tested ordinary and not so ordinary people Eyam

3 not a child to quail at shadows after all p. 233 young woman already widowed by the harsh life of the lead mining society Independent and resourceful, she has faced more terrors than many warriors p. 15 Rises to the challenge of her ordeal, she has been tempered and made strong p. 274 Anna Frith

4 Her role in the text Protagonist and narrator recounts the story of the village and her struggle to not only cope, but shows real determination and care for others throughout the ordeal Her relationship with her employers, Elinor and Michael Mompellion are integral to her story Her family background, Joss Bont, her father and her Stepmother Aphra affect her reactions to events

5 Modern concerns Brooks has created a modern woman who shares many of the authors concerns; how women cope in times of stress, how women live in restricted societies, how women can defy social norms. This is also evident in Anys and Mem who are unconventional and in Elinor who is deeply intelligent and compassionate Links to Middle East are also concerns of Brooks. Mentions of Avicenna and Musalman (Muslims); the marriage to Ahmed Bey in Oran.

6 Educated Woman Anna is also an educated woman - highly intelligent - learns to read and write from looking at gravestones, learns Latin and Arabic I had always loved high language p. 36 Elinor kindles her love of books bade me borrow any book I chose. p. 9 She translates the Latin Michael uses Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus correctly as untrue in one thing, untrue in everything which shocks Mompellion

7 Annas Family Joss Bont is an unsympathetic character who we are invited to have strong feelings of distaste for My fathers croft had ever been a joyless place p. 7 He put the branks on his first wife and threatens to do it to Anna (see page 133) His background is revealed as abusive, however, we can see that Anna has also suffered and has allowed this to make her more compassionate and perceptive His greed and weakness are his undoing and the village and his own family leave him to die

8 Annas Stepmother Aphra was married to Joss as a last resort when she was 26 (p. 40) she was a shrewd woman my stepmother in spite of all her superstitious fancies p. 107 She knows how to handle him I have my own ways of bridling that mule p. 198 and is as avaricious and mean spirited as he is, although somewhat more pragmatic She only values Anna for what she can get from her

9 Elinor Elinor is Annas hero, she is intelligent and patient, kind and hard working The frail body was paired with a sinewy mind...possessed with a driving energy to make and do p. 35 because of her I had known the warmth of a motherly concern I had had a teacher she was my friend and I loved her p. 234 Encourages her learning and helps her to develop as a person you know a very great deal more than you think you do p. 121

10 Anna is jealous of the closeness shared between Elinor and Michael for the sin of my presumption and my jealousy p. 235 I was jealous of both of them at once. Of him, because Elinor loved him, and I hungered for a greater share of her love p. 229 Elinor shares her secrets with Anna about her pregnancy to a young man out of wedlock and how Michael made a sacrifice in marrying her. p. 155

11 Anna is tending a broken Michael at the beginning of the novel. She stays longer than a servant should to try and help him. A servant has no right to stay once shes dismissed. p 4 We find out his loss on page 9 I tell myself I do it for her. Why else would I do it after all? Annas lack of certainty here hints at her feelings for Michael. He arrived in the village on Anteros, young, powerful and passionate Id forgotten what his eyes could do p. 4 Michael

12 Anna sleeps with Michael taking him in my arms as Elinor surely would p. 175 He reveals his arrogance and hypocrisy in the way he treated Elinor I deemed that she should atone by living some part of her life with her lusts unrequited. The more I could make her love me, the more her penance might weigh in the balance to equal her sin. p. 281 Anna sees then his unnatural coldness and perversion p. 284

13 the kind of power a woman like Anys might yield p. 40 Why would I marry? Ill not be made any mans chattel p. 54 People thought in terms of dark and light and Anys Gowdie confounded such thinking p. 55 Anys becomes a scapegoat fought you with the only weapon she had to hand - your own ugly thoughts and evil doubting of one another! p. 95 Anys Gowdie

14 Anna openly shows her flaws my loose tongue had helped betray her p. 91 Her mission in life is to heal I had seen so much death that I would try to save a life if I could p. 285 She helps even those she dislikes. She begins her new life after the birth of the child Ahmed Bey names Aisha - meaning both life and bread a worthy lifes work

15 When the child was born to Mrs Bradford Anna tells us I looked into her deep blue eyes and saw reflected there the dawn of my own new life p. 287 lets go and live since we have no choice in it p. 273 I wondered if fate had marked me to be the next in the long line of women that Anys had once spoken of... p. 268 she loses her faith in God, but not her hope p. 301

16 Marriage and motherhood social hierarchy - class and control responses to adversity - testing of society and individuals competing world views - sacred, secular, superstitious Key Themes

17 the perils women face just because of their sex unhappy marriages across all social classes (Bradfords, Mompellions, Bonts, Gordons) Urith Gordon must obey her husband in all things Anys rejects marriage Lib Hancock and her mother shackled to their menfolk as surely as the plough to the shares p. 55 Marriage and Motherhood

18 Elinor, childless, mothered those who werent mothered enough in their own crowded crofts p. 38 Anna is defined by her role as mother Umm Ja-mee p. 303 Aisha and Elinor give her reason to live Anys predicts Annas arms will not be empty forever p. 84

19 Bradfords at the top of the social scale but morally repugnant society is undergoing profound change - wealth and connection are no shield against plague p. 60 Anna is a servant - she is, at times, in a precarious position - avoids the Bradfords son because of the possibility of rape Elizabeth asserts her incredulity that the housemaid knows more than a London surgeon p. 285 Social Hierarchy

20 Anna challenges Mompellion at the end have you taken leave of yours? (senses) She is not a typical servant - educated, intelligent and as such defies the usual social norms for a woman of her class. Her learning and the way she reacts to the times mark her as different.

21 Bradfords flee the village Villagers accept self-imposed quarantine some people are used as scapegoats (Gowdies) Isolation - Merrick Opportunism - nick Merry Wickfords stow exploitation - Joss Bont and Aphra Responses to Adversity

22 Superstition - Kate Talbot, buying charms from Anys Ghost Repentance - Jakob Merrills provision for his daughter and his saving of Brand Social cohesion- increased attendance at church services by the non-conformists Promiscuity - Jane Martin Flagellation - John Gordon and those who later followed him

23 Madness - Aphra Bravery - Elinor and Anna in the Wickford mine Despair - Michael and (briefly) Anna - p. 268 Loss of faith - Michael and Anna Strength - Anna

24 miners are superstitious men p. 175 Gowdies - herbal lore and spells p. 84 this becomes their undoing when people are looking for someone to blame people question their beliefs - how can God be so prodigal? p. 135 Anna has a revelation p perhaps each was false equally Competing World Views

25 Michael questions God when he recites the prayer Your wife will be like a fruitful vine.... p. 19 Michael believes God a poor listener p. 17 and finds that he has given himself up to his own darkness 271 My whole life, all I have done, all I have said, all I have felt, has been based upon a lie p. 282 Anna finds that the cross, upon which she used to find comfort no longer had anything to say p. 283

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