A Journal Of The Plague Year Critique

2111 words - 9 pages

A Journal of the Plague Year is a first person account of what it was like living through the times of the plague. It recollects stories and other accounts of plague times heard by and collected by the Defoe from other involved individuals. Explains many aspects before, during, and after the plague of their ways of life and culture. Tells of tales of survivors of the plague but mostly off different tales of deaths and how they died in many outrageous and tragic ways of people killing their families, themselves, or masses of people. The whole journal is filled with collections of stories, but also with charts showing the deaths in different parishes and how they change as the plague raged on. In the end, it tells how life went back to normal for London and Defoe and his family.
Author Daniel Defoe wrote this journal to document his story of the plague along with others so that he may share his account with future readers. He wanted people to hear his story and recollection of the plague so that readers may learn about this epidemic straight through his journal. Showed the struggle people, including himself, went through just for safety for their family and themselves from the plague. He wanted to give examples of what the plague had done to people and what the results of the plague was after it had infected them. Daniel wanted to show his own personal sense of hope through his journal to show that even through the toughest of times, mass death of family and friends, you can remain hopeful.
I greatly disliked The Journal of the Plague Year, not liking the majority of it, for a variety of reasons. I disliked that Defoe intensely rambled on about various topics, changing completely at random, that he had explained and mentioned previously in the book. Another aspect was that if this was his personal journal and account of the plague, then i would have liked to see more of his own struggle with his family more than other people’s. The journal was mainly stories of other people, in which he would bring up and complete the story much later in which by that time you forgot the beginning, which I disliked. One thing I did like that was included was seeing the charts of total deaths and watching them change as time went on.

Culture
Looking at the culture shown throughout A Journal of the Plague Year, it was interesting to see how it was in London during this time period and how much it has changed. One compelling aspect was how transportation changed during the time of the plague. The carriages and horses with carts, generally used for transport during this time, mostly became means for moving dead bodies killed by the epidemic. There was a dead cart that travelled through town twice a day to remove the bodies from streets, from houses that were known to have dead, or if living members from that house or adjacent houses flagged down the cart telling them that they know of bodies to be taken. Carriages were first used at the beginning of the plague that...

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