Presentation on theme: "Mem and Anys Gowdie Mel and Tamara-Jade. Witchcraft Believed to be a set of beliefs and practices like a religion Witchcraft historically was associated."— Presentation transcript:
Mem and Anys Gowdie Mel and Tamara-Jade
Witchcraft Believed to be a set of beliefs and practices like a religion Witchcraft historically was associated with evil and Satan or direct human contact with the devil People believed that witches would cause harm to others in the form of illness, accidents and even death Belief in magic and witchcraft was widespread in the 1600’s across Europe. The Salem Witch trials occurred in 1692 When disease occurred and natural disasters people began to look for reasons why such disasters occurred They explained these things by blaming the witches saying they had charmed people into illness and caused nature to act against people People believed that witches were responsible for bringing God’s wrath down upon them.
Witchcraft in relation to Eyam Many villagers in Eyam believed the Gowdies to be the cause of the death of many of their loved ones They believed that because the Gowdies appeared to be practicing magic and witchcraft in some forms that they had brought Gods wrath down upon them. But most importantly the villagers were uneducated and needed to find someone to blame for such losses ‘You killed my family hag.’ ‘Your malice has brought plague on my man and my mother and my boys.’ The village eventually turns on Mem and Anys which results in the women's deaths. Frustration, uncertainty, fear and poor education led to a horrid turn of events
Mem Gowdie Women of today Independent Chose their husband, not out of necessity Fewer social restrictions Higher class jobs Have more respect Have the right to an education Have legal rights Women in the novel Suppressed No legal rights Must obey their husbands Deemed as a lower class to men Must be married or fear being labelled as a witch Uneducated Restricted jobs, maid Mem Independent Away from the conformity of society Unmarried Educated Free to be who she chooses
Women in the Novel ‘He seemed to take a perverse amusement in belittling his wife.’ Colonel Bradford pg 57 ‘Urith had ever been a woman of few words. She was kept so cowed by her husband that she crept here and there, timid and silent, afraid of conversation lest it somehow led her into conduct of which her husband did not approve of.’ pg 219 ‘Cowed and nervous she fretted constantly over where next her husband would find fault...’ pg 57 Mrs Bradford
Mem Gowdie Mem in these times would be more likely to be called a witch as she lived without a husband and took interest in things much of society, especially the small town of Eyam, believed to be in the hands of God. The people viewed her and her niece with suspicion because the was thought that God sent illness and if Mem was curing what God had sent then she must be conversing or working for the devil.
Mem Gowdie Mem is portrayed sympathetically because she is the main representation of science and broad mindedness. She also represents the new form of women that was emerging which Anna aspired to become. Brooks wants to represent science and independence in a positive light and place religion and superstition in and uncertain and negative light. ‘Mem helped us as she could for pence or payment in kind as each of us was set to manage it, while the surgeons would not stir without the clank of shillings to line their pockets.’
Anys Gowdie Anys Gowdie is a skilled healer and midwife in the community of Eyam. She is Mem’s niece and Anna’s friend. Anys is about the same age as Anna. She came to live with Mem as a young child after the death of her own parents. Anys is an appealing character of the novel as she lives an independent life with Mem. Being independent as a woman is a rare thing in this period of time. She experiments with natural medicine to help people’s illness. This gets her into trouble as when the plague strikes she is murdered by a mob of the town. ‘Anys Gowdies raised the dead! Its her that’s the witch!’ The town believes that the medicines she and her aunt make aren’t any help at all and that they just worsen illnesses. As back then it was expected to follow religion, but she did not, she believed in logic. Anys’ logical thinking brought her to the idea that God does not have a contribution to what happens to the town or its people and it’s the environment’s influence. The town believes that what Anys and her aunt do is a form of witchcraft and that this is against God so they must be killed. The towns people believe that they have brought the plague to them. The craziness of the plague drives people to blame others and because Anys is an easy target, they think of her.
Anys Gowdie It shows what pain and suffering can make you do. Anys’ is murdered by the villagers in an attack on her. Before she is finally hung she speaks the words ‘Yes, I am the devil’s creature, and mark me, he will be avenged for my life!’ (p.93) Even as Anna tells her not to say these things as they are untrue, she goes on. A quote from Anna on Anys is, ‘She was a rare creature, Anys Gowdie, and I had to own that I admired her for listening to her own heart rather than having her life ruled by others' conventions." (p. 55). After Anys’ death, Michael Mompellion says to the villagers, ‘Do we not have suffering enough in this village? Is there not Death enough here for you all that you bring the crime of murder amongst us as well?’ p95