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In “Year of Wonders”, Geraldine Brooks’ novel of devastation set in the village of Eyam in 1966, the narrator, Anna Frith, has a large impact on the reading of the historically fictitious novel. The tone which the narrator takes is both harsh and honest. The fact that the reader is exposed to a female’s outlook throughout this time of peril in Eyam allows for an unfair biased. Finally, Firth’s position in society also creates a distorted reading of the text.

Anna Firth’s acrid and candid tone and use of language throughout the narrative has an ample influence on the reader’s apprehension to Brooks’ novel. Anna’s tone and gruesome attention to detail as “George Viccars lay with his head pushed to the side by a lump the size of a new born piglet, a great, shiny, yellow-purple knob of pulsing flesh” Anna’s harsh and raw language makes the reader cringe and feel sympathetic towards Viccars untimely and painful demise. Anna’s descriptive anecdotes are once again seen in her telling of Josiah Bont’s excruciating death as “he begged in vain for mercy and howled like a trapped animal where the dagger cleft his skin” It may also be noted, from this quote, Brooks’ play on words as she describes Josiah “like a trapped animal” possibly in reference to his inhumane actions throughout the novel and being trapped into doing terrible things by the poverty the plague had caused in the village. As the protagonist of the tale Anna’s tone of voice and depiction of fellow characters are forced upon the reader, for example we feel distanced towards Josiah as Anna had “never heard a word of praise” from her father’s lips.

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