Fever 1793 Character Analysis

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Laurie Halse Anderson’s use of central conflict, the fever, has helped mold the main character’s character traits. Laurie Halse Anderson wrote Fever 1793, a historical fiction novel. The protagonist, Matilda Cook, is a 13 year old girl living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during colonial times. The yellow fever has broken out, and people are dropping at an alarming rate. As she deals with the epidemic, she grows to become a strong, responsible, helpful girl.

Presumably, Matilda grows to become stronger than she was before the epidemic. The fever has taken its toll on everyone. It brought the best and worst out of everybody. Matilda has to stay strong and persevere. Near the middle of the novel, Matilda and her sick grandfather are stranded in the country with nothing but their clothes. She had to take initiative and be strong to keep the both of them alive. As stated in the text,” I climbed out of the water to pick berries...I prepared to close the petticoat and trap the fish inside…’Shall I make a fire’...I set out on my search.” As you can tell, she is taking charge and trying to make the best out of the situation. She had to leave the city and her sick mother. Her grandfather and her were booted off the carriage that would take them to
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People are tired, weak, and sick, and they need a strong young girl to help take care of them. She has proven her helpfulness in a lot of different events throughout the novel. For instance, she helped take care of her mother who fell ill early into the story. She took care of her the best she could, all by herself. Evidence in the text states,” I took two extra clothes press and hurried upstairs to watch over Mother...I so wanted to touch her...I smoothed her hair…’I’m here’...’Be still’...I sponged her face clean.” Matilda was raised by her strict mother who enforced obedience. She always listened and did what she was to
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