Year of Wonders Essay

All of the characters in this novel have their failings and as a result they are all fully human. Do you agree?

Year of wonders is a novel in which we can clearly see the nature of the human mind. We see emotion in the way characters behave, and as a result we see decisions that lead to mistakes. We see many examples where characters have mistakes which have made them who they are in the context we see them, proving that they are indeed fully human. Elinor Mompellion’s teenage lust leads her to fall pregnant at a very young age, leading her to have an abortion. Her lust shows that she is fully human, and her husband’s decision to take up celibacy, which he later regrets, shows his own human nature. Human nature is also outlined in Anna’s desire and jealousy of Elinor’s relationship with her husband, leading her to sleep with Michael upon Elinor’s death.

Elinor Mompellion was brought up in a wealthy family, with all the facilities one could desire of at the time. However her human nature, and emotional decision making lead her to her life’s greatest mistake. Her teenage abortion was seen as an embarrassment at the time, and was considered to have ruined her chances of finding a suitable husband.
This shows that even though we see Elinor as a character of great integrity and compassion throughout the hardest times of the plague, she too had her failings. Though she seemed to many to be the perfect role model, and she held authority amongst the town people, she had also made human mistakes. Many villagers, including Colonel Bradford, believed that in marrying Michael she had moved herself into a lower class. However what these people did not understand was the shortcomings of her past that made her lucky to find a man willing to marry her at all. These events in her past are also what make Elinor willing to break the common restraints placed upon women at that time. We see this in her determination to assist the young girl Merry Wickford, by going mining with...