Year of Wonders

Anna Frith's Reliability as a Narrator in "Year of Wonders" 12th Grade

Geraldine’s Brooks’ exploration of the multi-faceted nature of humanity in her historical novel, ‘Year of Wonders,’ opens a myriad of concerns regarding transformation strife through the first-hand account of Anna Frith. Brooks extensively employs archaic language conducive to the time and vivid descriptions of the natural world alongside the horrors of the plague, which in addition to her presence at pivotal junctures offers integrity and authenticity to her account. Although her limited perspective may suggest a feminist sensibility throughout, Anna’s voice is core, as she becomes the embodiment of the novel’s central conflict posing religion against reason. Bearing witness to her moments of both triumph and weakness, the audience is able to identify and sympathize with Anna’s quandary, which mirrors that of the world at the time.

The linguistic features of Anna’s narration are notably suitable to the bygone age Brooks wishes to portray. Great attention to syntax, absence of contractions and prevalence of words and jargon that do not appear in the modern lexicon, such as “sennight”, offer unheralded integrity to Anna’s 17th century account. Dialogue appropriately shifts between characters based on their level of intellect and...

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