Fever Epidemic In Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever 1793

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Literary Essay: Fever 1793
Laurie Halse Anderson’s historical fiction novel, Fever 1793, takes place in the capital of the United States during that time, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A fatal illness, called yellow fever, strikes in the summertime of 1793. Until the frosts come, the dreaded yellow fever disease rampages through the city, tearing it apart, home by home, family by family, person by person. Throughout the story, Matilda “Mattie” Cook, the main character, is able to turn over a new leaf while dealing with the tragedy of the horrifying yellow fever epidemic. She stays strong and defeats the obstacles that are thrown at her. By including descriptive imagery as well as repetition, Anderson establishes the lesson that people have
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A prospering city was quickly destroyed by a unexpected and gruesome sickness, yet most of Philadelphia remained brave and hopeful. The detailed sentence, “The yellow sun rose, a giant balloon filled with prayers and hopes and promise,” depicts that at the end of the peril that so many people underwent, there was a silver lining (243). Philadelphia suffered from the beginning to the end of a calamity, but the people of the city were able to overcome it and had hope. Mattie, especially, had to cope with the loss of her grandfather, care for Nell as well as herself, help Eliza, and worry about her mother, Lucille. All of these experiences played an important role in Matilda Cook growing into a cultivated adult. Anderson writes that detailed sentence to reveal just how much yellow fever negatively impacted many, many families, and at the end of the story, Mattie, her family and friends, and the rest of Philadelphia can finally have hope and look forward to a promising future. Descriptive imagery is only one of the ways the author of Fever 1793 puts craft into her writing. In the story, her repetition connects to the idea that tough times lead to full development. For example, Mattie is very upset and feels like a traitor when she must take Nell to the orphanage. Over and over, she assures herself that she really is doing the right thing. When Matilda
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