Negativity brings sorrow, grief, hostility, and fear. The outlook that is held can hinder the way that you decide to go about handling the situation. The plague, a serious illness with terrible effects on a society, causes fear, uproar, damage, pain, and grief.
The view on the plague throughout the novel had drastically changed for a few people. “It is a trial for us, I am sure of it. Because of His great love for us, He is giving us here an opportunity that He offers to very few upon this Earth.” In the beginning, Michael Mompellion, the village pastor, believed that the plague was given to them as a test. As a result of that conclusion, he believed that the village goes under quarantine in order to take on what God has given them and not affect others. However, as the plague continued to get worse, the villagers began to believe in other things that they believed would save them rather than God, which disheartened Mompellion. “Anna, I don’t know what shocks me more in all this: that someone preys upon their desperate fellows, or that they besmirch the memory of Anys Gowdie in passing themselves off as her shade, or that people here are so desperate and credulous that they listen to these midnight whisperings and pay their last mite for these worthless amulets.”
Although there were many negative outlooks on the plague, Anna used her suffering from the plague, the loss of her husband and two sons, to help others in this time of need. To do so, she used scientific remedies that would be effective in healing others. But her faith had diminished through her losses and suffering. “Why, I wondered, did we, all of us, both the rector in his pulpit and simple Lottie in her croft, seek to put the Plague in unseen hands? Why should this thing be either a test of faith sent by God, or the evil working of the Devil in the world? One of these beliefs we embrace, the other we scorned as superstition. But perhaps each was false, equally. Perhaps the Plague was neither of God nor the Devil, but simply a thing in Nature, as the stone on which we stub a toe.” Her ‘faith’ was not the reason for helping everyone else’s suffering, but she accepted that she has lost so much and she must put that behind her to allow herself to move on and make something out of her current lifestyle. One way that she tried to help was to have everyone burn the infected cloth, but people were too selfish to do so, and the plague, that could have been stopped, continued to flourish.
More and more villagers are dying. More and more loved ones are lost. More and more faith is lost. There seems to barely be hope, if not any, in humanity to surpass this ‘test from God’. Mompellion’s wife Elinor passed away from the terrible sickness. Thus, resulting in Mompellion’s change of heart upon upholding his faith. “I thought I spoke for God. Fool. My whole life, all I have done, all I have said, all I have felt, has been based upon a lie. Untrue in everything. So now… I have learned at last to do as I please!” This change brings two things in perspective. This preacher was ‘fine’ as all the pain and suffering was happening to other people while he just spread the word and tried to spiritually encourage. But once the pain and suffering begin to happen to you and your loved one, the whole perspective changes. Now he does not even believe in God because his wife has passed away.
In conclusion, the plague brought death, grief, damage, fear, and plenty of pain. The faith in the community depleted as the plague continued to get worse. Everyone trying to survive for themselves while losing friends and family left and right. This ‘God sent’ plague caused the community to battle emotional, physical, and mental struggles. The way that people decided to deal with this was different in a plenty of ways. Surviving this type of event would leave you emotionally and mentally drained because the life has literally been sucked out of you. Through sickness and death. However, if Anne can do it, and use it as motivation to help others in need. So, can someone else.
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