Year Of Wonders Feminist Analysis

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The novel Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks is a novel of the plague. The main character, Anna Firth, helps the town decide to quarantine to prevent the spread of the plague. Anna becomes one of the towns midwives and medicinal experts along with her friend Elinor. The town overcomes many troubles along with Anna’s own, the death of her father, children, and best friend. This is a story of perseverance and the powers of women. When the plague finally ends, the wake of destruction left is devastating for all parties involved. When a rich family who originally fled the town to avoid the disease, comes looking for help in delivering a child, the town and religious leader refuses. Anna goes to help them and when the baby is delivered, the family…show more content…
All midwives were present, and any men in the family were asked to leave. This is a tradition, but also because men didn’t think they should see women that way. This is another example of sexism in medieval times. During childbirth, one of the most sacred and awe-inducing things to experience, men get an out. They are asked to leave out of courtesy to them, not their wives or daughters. It was thought to be improper to see a woman give birth. “Childbirth was one area of life that was distinctly female; men...generally excluded from the birthing chamber” (Married Life). Although this allows for many sexist ideas to be shared, it also allows for the beautiful relationships between women to be created. Women had to stick together in a world run by men. They became a strong, quiet network of friends and families that wove their way through hard times and…show more content…
First, people in the 1600’s did not know what caused the plague, and this allowed for even greater devastation. As well, wealthy people in villages fled to escape plague-ridden places. Lastly, childbirth was a women-oriented affair that was very dangerous to both the mother and child, and it gave men power over women. In men’s eyes, it showed that women were weak and being punished by God. There were many religious excuses for the mistreating of women in medieval times, and none were more prevalent than childbirth. Brooks’ portrayal of a contaminated village in the 17th century precisely shows what it felt like to be a woman, or person, at that
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