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Master Thesis

Faire face à la catastrophe : la Grande Peste de 1665 dans A Journal of the Plague Year de Daniel Defoe (1722)

Abstract : This dissertation explores the notion of catastrophe in the context of the Great Plague that ravaged London’s streets in the year 1665. Based on Daniel Defoe’s novel A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), which is set during the epidemic, this work tries to define the catastrophe, focusing on its effects on the populations affected by the crisis. The notion is first studied through the depiction of the environment in which the population is now imprisoned: the sanitary crisis has imposed measures to protect the inhabitants, changing the face of the city. The urban landscape, in times of plague, is radically transformed, assuming at the same time the shape of a labyrinth, in which all previous landmarks have been brought down by the violence of the situation, that of a ghost town emptied of its citizens, and of a genuine battlefield on which the forces of Good and Evil fight relentlessly. In this environment, the people have to struggle against the disaster with the few means they have. The general distress of the city seems to interrupt all human interaction, forcing the people to isolate in order to protect their own lives. Society has collapsed, and each citizen tries to find a way to escape from this chaotic situation. Individuals seem to be abandoned either to superstition or to despair. However, the disaster ravaging the city also appears as a meaningful event in history that can be fought with both science and faith, and that may even provide some ways to improve the lives of the people, and, perhaps, help form a new, stronger community.
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Master Thesis
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Submitted on : Friday, July 10, 2020 - 9:45:49 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, July 11, 2020 - 3:54:14 AM

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  • HAL Id : dumas-02895755, version 1

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Julie Beq. Faire face à la catastrophe : la Grande Peste de 1665 dans A Journal of the Plague Year de Daniel Defoe (1722). Sciences de l'Homme et Société. 2020. ⟨dumas-02895755⟩

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