Year of Wonders is a story of courage in the face of extreme adversity.
Year of Wonders is a story of courage. Despite the immense suffering, Anna and other characters
such as Michael and Elinor Mompellion demonstrate that even the smallest of villages such as
Eyam can overcome extreme adversity through self-sacrifice friendship and courage to come to a
status of rebirth. Anna, Anys Gowdie and Michael Mompellion are three characters within the novel
which were all very different, but had one common factor, in the sense that they all displayed
actions of courage through the eyes of horrendous adversity.
Anna Frith redefines her identity and outlook on the world as she knows it in her personal year of
wonder. Anna begins timid and insecure on her journey of transformation as she was recently
widowed and is still adjusting to life as a single woman. Her insecurity was displayed when she
was afraid to express her feelings with George Viccars, as a sense of guilt still lingered around her
for her former now lain husband Sam. Anna wasn't initially viewed as the most courageous
character at the beginning of the novel, but the coming of the Black Plague truly transformed her.
The Plague results in the deaths of both Anna's sons leaving her in a state of grief. She defined
herself as nothing more than a mother. With no more children, she felt as though she was no-one.
Anna turned to opium to soothe her pain, but it quickly began to affect her in negative ways. She
stated "This time, it was no outward horror that plunged me back into our hard reality, but my own
realisation that I had no further means to secure such oblivion". This was Anna's realisation that
opium was sending her on to undesired pathways. She manages to save herself from her addiction
simply by helping other people around her village. Such as, delivering newborns, inventing herbal
medicines with Elinor Mompellion and risking her life in a mine to help the helpless young girl
Merry. Out of these actions, Anna discovers two very crucial facts, firstly, she notices that she
achieves a certain satisfaction by performing the actions she does, and secondly, she realises that
she doesn't need to conform with the gender limitations placed upon her. This is ultimately when
Anna rejects the limitations that society places on women and shows the readers a sense of
courage within her. Before Elinor died, she said to Anna, "I wonder if you know how you have
changed. It is the one good, perhaps, to come out of this terrible year". This became relevant when
Anna had an affair with Michael Mompellion as she had found out about Elinor's past, resulting in
Anna's biggest realisation as she now understood what Elinor was saying to her. "I understood that
where Michael Mompellion had been broken by our shared ordeal, in equal measure I had been
tempered and made strong". Anna's previous identity wouldn't have further moved on to Algeria for
a Muslim doctor along with ...