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January 29, 2022, 06:40:29 am

Author Topic: YEAR OF WONDERS! - critique needed  (Read 1858 times)  Share 

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sahil26

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YEAR OF WONDERS! - critique needed
« on: October 06, 2012, 11:43:04 pm »
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Year of Wonders essay! my life feels complete when i do one of these -.-

Okay, so i was hoping if someone could give me a mark and critique.
I personally think my first body paragraph is weak(might just be me).... i tried to put it in there so i could compare and contrast .... can someone suggest how i can do a better job at that? and whether i actually need it in there...

P.s. I know i have spelling errors and gramtically incorrect sentences in there (seriously, with a cup of coffee at 12.. mistake are bound to be made). .. so unless they reeeeallly reaaaaaaaaally annoy you... you don't have to mention them. :-)

                            The plague destroys one world and replaces it with another”. Discuss


Geraldine Brooks’ novel, Year of Wonders, illustrates how a well-functioning society can descend into turmoil due to the weaknesses that lie beneath the surface. To suppress the plague, the village of Eyam undertakes a self-imposed quarantine, which tests the foundation upon which their community is built upon. Through Anna Frith’s narration, we are introduced to a community that is deeply bonded with their faith and religion. Michael Mompellion, the rector, instils hope in the people of the town through his assurances of reward and redemption. However, as the pestilence rages through Eyam, the moral values of the town’s people disintegrate. The people of the small town, unable to cope with this “test of God”, descend into madness and destroy their own world. The Bradfords sought to escape Eyam whilst Anys & Mem get murdered due to the lack of rational minds in the village. Contrarily though, Anna emerges as an independent and confident women through the destruction of the plague. The life of Anna Frith is transformed by the plague as she diminishes the influence of patriarchy and breaks away from the rigid belief system of 17th century England.

Brooks depicts Eyam as a town deeply entrenched in a system typical to the Church of England. Women at this period of time had almost no rights whatsoever. Their guardian, whether it be there husband or father, ruled everything in their life. We see this reflected in Anna narration as women always complied with their duties and “wearily followed their husbands”. Even Elinor who holds the authority of being the rector’s wife, is dictated by Michael’s cruel treatment of her. Additionally, the role of the rector, the voice of God, reams prominent in Eyam. Brooks alludes to Mompellion as a character who is powerful and influential when hopeful within. Michael gives meaning and substance to the community facing the dreadful challenge that seem profoundly lacking in belief in God’s justice. His grand character holds the village together in the time of need and the integrity of humanity and moral values remain intact whilst he has control over the village. However, when the village is pushed to the brink of destruction, and Mompellion also falls, the true nature of the tension simmering underneath the surface of Eyam is revealed. Eyam is transformed from a healthy prosperous village to a place filled with ruins of the plague. Through the devastation seen later, Brooks exposes the weak foundation the village was built upon.

Hysteria and fear overcome the minds of the villagers as the plague strikes the village. Despite Mompellion’s pleas, the people of the town resort to believing into superstition as they fail to comprehend why their loved ones are being taken away from them. Mem & Anys Gowdie’s death demonstrates the cruel psychological effects of the terror caused by the plague. Furthermore, people such as John Gordon turn to self-flagellation instead of looking for a solution. This highlights the lack of rational minds in the village and the extent to which illiteracy limits the development of the village. Brooks explores the tendency of humans to panic and blindly look for solution when mass fear hits a society. When the plague strikes the village, the people turn on their and make “monsters” of themselves. The importance of rationality and leadership is underpinned by Brooks through such events. Additionally, Brooks also portrays religion as an incompetent companion when it comes to facing adversities. The villagers’ faith provides neither solutions nor redemption for the devastation caused by the plague. Brooks insinuates that for a society to survive, the acceptance of nature is essential. In stark contrast however, Anna’s newfound belief in the experimentation and exploration in medicinal properties fortifies her in a way that enables her to emerge from the plague reborn rather than destroys.

To complement the fall of the village due to the lack of intelligence, Brooks advocates her humanistic ideals through Anna’s link with the natural world. Through Anna’s ways of combating the plague, she suggests that people have the ability to shape their own destiny. For Anna, the weapon against the plague lies with nature and the wisdom one is able to gain from the healing properties of herbal medicines. Anna realises that “perhaps the plague was neither of God nor the Devil, but simply a thing of nature”. It is through Anna’s enlightening that Brooks celebrates humanity’s capacity for progress through the natural sciences, rather than suggest that one is at the mercy of an eternal power. This allows Anna to gather self-belief to not only protect herself, but also helps others deter the plague.

Equally underlined is Anna’s courage to break away from the patriarchal system of Eyam. Just like the Gowdies, Anna frees herself, or is rather freed, from the men in her life “I think you like to go and come without a man’s say-so”. Faced with the choice to either marry another man or become an independent women, Anna chooses to leave behind the rigid beliefs of the village. Anna’s transformation is illustrated when she adapts to become a scholar, doctor and independent woman. The re-birth of Anna is conveyed through the title of the novel. Whilst the rest of the village spirals into chaos, Anna truly becomes the “Wonder” in Year of Wonders. The plague, for Anna, destroys the world that was full of restrictions and limitations and through it surfaces a life that is full of opportunity and optimism. Brooks questions the dignified authority men hold over women in our society. Through Anna, Brooks intends to bring the forth the fact that women are equally if not more influential and powerful than men. Hence, she rejoices and praises the resilience and resourcefulness of women as shown by Anna’s emergence out of plague as an assertive and self-reliant women. Anna’s freedom later, as one of many wives later also suggests that whilst this is ironic, it acts as a form of emancipation from patriarchal society as shown by the fact that she had the ability to choose the life she wanted.

Year of Wonders explores the revealing nature of a devastating event such as the plague and exemplifies the need to adapt to situations if need be. Whilst after the plague, the world of Eyam surfaces to be incompetent and irrational, Anna enables herself to escape from such a system by enlightening herself with education. The self-imposed quarantine causes the village to surrender to insanity and fear, but through the occasion Anna rises as an inspirational character which illuminates her as the most courageous character in the novel. Brooks alludes that whilst adversity and challenges can cause a society to crumble, it is through those adversities that the world can learn and progress in a positive manner. Hence, whilst the plague undoubtedly destroys one world and replaces it with another, Brooks contends that perhaps it was necessary for such event to occur so that the world could revolutionize into a more enlightened and capable place.
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Quoting - The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

sahil26

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Re: YEAR OF WONDERS! - critique needed
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 11:22:06 pm »
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Bump! :)
2011 : Electrotechnology 40

2012 Aim : English 35, Methods 40+, Chemistry 40, Physics 45+, Specialist 30, Punjabi 35+

Atar Aim : 90+

Quoting - The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

JaneDoe

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Re: YEAR OF WONDERS! - critique needed
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 11:36:35 pm »
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I'm not going to critique since I don't think I'd be of much help but I do want to mention something. This is probably purely coincidental but the line "Their guardian, whether it be there husband or father, ruled everything in their life" word for word matches a sentence in Year of Wonders document I downloaded of the internet about the novels themes. I thought I'd let you know to avoid any plagiarism accusations.
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sahil26

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Re: YEAR OF WONDERS! - critique needed
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 12:12:03 am »
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Please... i have read so many of those things i am not surprised i put the same sentence in there...
Its the way it goes... you read something ... you remember the way is was exactly said... i don't think its wrong if i can remember niche phrases that help me link my essay...
Plus... i am not writing a novel here... its a practice essay for my own good -.-

And seriously... you pick out a line and check it word for word but can't share some advice :/
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 12:22:49 am by sahil26 »
2011 : Electrotechnology 40

2012 Aim : English 35, Methods 40+, Chemistry 40, Physics 45+, Specialist 30, Punjabi 35+

Atar Aim : 90+

Quoting - The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

brenden

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Re: YEAR OF WONDERS! - critique needed
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 12:42:14 am »
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Please... i have read so many of those things i am not surprised i put the same sentence in there...
Its the way it goes... you read something ... you remember the way is was exactly said... i don't think its wrong if i can remember niche phrases that help me link my essay...
Plus... i am not writing a novel here... its a practice essay for my own good -.-

And seriously... you pick out a line and check it word for word but can't share some advice :/
JaneDoe was only trying to help you, not accuse you. She did share advice. Try not to get annoyed at people that have only good intentions.
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JaneDoe

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Re: YEAR OF WONDERS! - critique needed
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 04:54:16 pm »
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And seriously... you pick out a line and check it word for word but can't share some advice :/
This was added since last time I saw the reply.  :-\
I didn't check it word for word I just remembered seeing the sentence previously because like you mentioned, after reading something a lot you tend to just remember it even if you can't recall where from. I didn't mention it to pick out flaws I just thought you should know since in University plagiarism is taken so seriously even if it is an innocent mistake which I believe yours to be. The reason I didn't offer any advice is because I think my criticism would be more unhelpful than anything. How can I help someone else with something I, myself am not confident with?

JaneDoe was only trying to help you, not accuse you. She did share advice. Try not to get annoyed at people that have only good intentions.
Thanks for backing me up.  :P I spoke to him today at school and he said he was just being sarcastic so everything is fine. The problem with sarcasm is it's hard to tell through text on the internet.   ;)
2012: English | Further Maths | Business Management | Legal Studies | Community Services (VET)