A Journal of the Plague Year

1245 WordsOct 18, 20125 Pages
There is a certin unsureness in the circulation and communication of information in A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe. This instability of the language in this proto-novel is caused by the author citing two sides to every point or statement he makes causing contradictions. On top of this Defoe repeats the same points throughout the entire text. This uncertainty helps to make the reader believe the writing is an actual journal as opposed to an edited, actual non-fiction. A Journal of the Plague Year starts out with the narrator, H.F., discussing the issue of staying at his residence with the plague on its way or leaving before the plague hits his section of the town H.F. changes his mind several times stating both the…show more content…
This journal is giving a third person account and using stories of the illness that Defoe even states may not be true or that he cannot prove to be true because he relaying just what he heard. When H.F. speaks about the illness he spend a lot of time dealing with the shutting up of the houses. At first he says that the shutting up of the houses being successful by stating that " the early Care taken in that Manner, being a great means to putting a cheque to it" (pg 33). So H.F. agrees that it stopped the spreading of the disease in some cases, but then he describes it as "cruel and Unchristian" (pg 42). He starts to show the flaws in this method, "perhaps, the sound People, in the Family, might have escaped, if they had been remov'd from the Sick/and many People perished in these miserable Confinements" (pg 42-43). H.F. goes as far as to call a shut up house a prison with a jaylor. He discussed the use of violence by the people on the watchmen to try to escape these conditions. Then to contradict his first statement of preventing the spread of the plague, "those that did thus break out, spread the Infection farther by their wandring about with the Distemper upon them, in their desperate Circumstances, than they would otherwise have done" (pg 47). He tells a
Open Document