|Plot Summary of A Journal of the Plague Year |
|" A Journal of the Plague Year is a semi-fictional account of one Londoner's experiences during the year of the great plague.
For various reasons, the narrator chose not to flee the city when most other members of the wealthy classes were rushing into the countryside. Thus, he viewed first-hand the terrible effects of the plague, beginning with the first reports of infestation in 1663, its gradual spread throughout the city, and finally the chaos that ensued when the disease raged in the heart of London.
He comments in detail on the hordes of quack doctors who sold useless medicines and cures, the many people who went mad with fear and desperation running in the streets, and the governmental regulations of the time, even reprinting a list of the mayor's orders in full. Long portions are devoted to the practice of shutting up the infected houses, when citizens literally locked entire families inside of their homes and posted guards at the doors so that plague carriers could not escape. Of course, this also ensured that all members of the trapped families fell ill. Merchant families retreated to their boats on the Thames, hoping that by isolating themselves they might avoid infection, and many others simply left the city on foot, though they often found that they were barred from entering any other town.
The narrator remained in the city until the plague had abated, by which time over 100,000 had died, but he himself managed to remain free of infection. In the end the city was spared from complete destruction, and the people of London slowly returned to their way of life. "
Jacqueline West, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of A Journal of the Plague Year |
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 10%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 50%
Tone of story
Time/era of story:
- 19th century
Disaster, natural or nuclear
Kind of disaster:
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How much violence does he/she use?
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
- natural phenomena
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- throughout most of the book.
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Unusual form of death?
Amount of dialog
- little dialog