by Laurie Halse Anderson
Analysis: Narrator Point of View
Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?
First Person (Central)
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, suffering, and pain. Matilda's eyewitness account allows us to see the devastating effects and emotional impact of the epidemic on the life of one young girl. While catastrophes of this magnitude are often discussed in terms of statistics, death counts, and plain old numbers, the narrative point of view allows us to register an otherwise enormous catastrophe on a very basic human level.