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Fever, 1793

Fever, 1793

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever, 1793 Analysis

Literary Devices in Fever, 1793

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

At last, the culprit: it's those darn blood-sucking bugs that keep spreading the yellow fever. They're tiny and pesky and no one seems to know just how dangerous they actually are. In fact, everyon...

Setting

Cook CoffeehouseThe Cook family's coffeehouse is located in the city of Philadelphia, and is a site where people discuss news, politics, current events, and titillating gossip. (And here we were th...

Narrator Point of View

Fever, 1793 is narrated in the first person by Matilda Cook, our plucky young heroine. The effect is that we are privy to all of Matilda's hopes, fears, dreams, plans; as well as her fear, anger, s...

Genre

Historical FictionFever, 1793 is a work of historical fiction, which means that it makes use of time and place in the distant past to unfold the plot, as well as to dramatize its basic themes and c...

Tone

Our narrator, Matilda Cook, is quite the young firecracker. How do we know? Well, because we can hear all of the private thoughts running through her head – whether her mother is getting on her n...

Writing Style

Matilda's narrative (her story) may be firmly planted in the late eighteenth century, but her prose, along with much of the novel's dialogue is of the twenty-first century. While you might find an...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of Laurie Halse Anderson's novel is punchy, pithy, and plenty helpful. The words "Fever, 1793" tell us what we're going to be seeing, when it'll be happening, and even give us some bigger...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Laurie Halse Anderson more than did her share of homework for Fever, 1793; she spent a good deal of time reading source material and conducting research in the archives of the Historical Society of...

What's Up With the Ending?

Life and death, joy and sorrow, endings and beginnings: Fever, 1793 is a novel about all of the connections, contrasts, and seeming opposites that make up the great circle of life. The ending of th...

Tough-o-Meter

The historical context might seem a bit daunting, but Fever, 1793 is actually a pretty quick read. Laurie Halse Anderson does her best to modernize the dialogue, with only the occasional eighteenth...

Plot Analysis

Matilda Cook is a teenage girl living above a coffeehouse in Philadelphia in 1793.The major conflict at this stage is between Matilda and her mother – the age-old struggle between parent and chil...

Trivia

Laurie Halse Anderson compared her research for Fever, 1793 to "digging at an archaeological site." Thanks to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, she even read the diaries and correspondence...

Allusions

Lord Adam Gordon, Journal Entry (1.epigraph)Gervase Markham, The English Housewife (2.epigraph)Margaret Morris, Letter (3.epigraph)Amelia Simmons, American Cookbook (4.epigraph)Hannah More, The You...

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