Year of Wonders

by

Geraldine Brooks

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Josiah (or “Joss”) is Anna’s father. He’s drunk and shiftless, often unable to provide for his wife, Aphra, and their many children. He’s also greedy and amoral. He capitalizes on the disorder caused by the plague to take advantage of his neighbors in any way he can, charging exorbitant sums to bury the dead and eventually attempting to bury one man alive in order to seize his household goods. While Anna no longer lives with her father, she is embarrassed by his behavior and often reflects on her unhappy, abusive childhood at his hands, which has shaped her cautious worldview and made her hesitant to trust others. However, eventually Anna concludes that her father abused her because of the traumas he himself suffered as a child conscript in the Navy, and is able to forgive him. Moving past this troubled relationship shows Anna that it’s best to seek justice not through revenge or retribution but through compassion and reason.

Josiah Bont Quotes in Year of Wonders

The Year of Wonders quotes below are all either spoken by Josiah Bont or refer to Josiah Bont . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Year of Wonders published in 2002.
Part 2: The Press of Their Ghosts Quotes

By gathering and sorting my own feelings so, I was finally able to fashion a scale on which I could weigh my father’s nature and find a balance between my disgust for him and an understanding of him; my guilt in the matter of his death against the debt he owed me for the manner of my life.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elinor Mompellion, Josiah Bont , Aphra Bont
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Year of Wonders LitChart as a printable PDF.
Year of Wonders PDF

Josiah Bont Character Timeline in Year of Wonders

The timeline below shows where the character Josiah Bont appears in Year of Wonders. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Venom in the Blood
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Faith, Suffering, and God’s Will Theme Icon
...confers in the church, with Mompellion and Stanley making their case to individuals. Although some, Josiah and Aphra, reluctantly agree only because it seems they have no other option, eventually everyone... (full context)
Part 2: So Soon to be Dust
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...to transport Maggie to her cottage, Anna goes to the Miner’s Tavern and runs into Josiah, who can be found there drinking at all hours. Her father invites her for a... (full context)
Part 2: Among Those That Go Down to the Pit
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...pause for dinner, and Anna knows he can’t go on like this. Reluctantly, she visits Josiah’s cottage, where she finds her many stepsiblings ill-fed and bearing bruises and her father still... (full context)
Part 2: The Body of the Mine
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...to force her slowly healing body through her daily chores. She is glad to see Josiah one morning, thinking he will help her carry water from the well, but she’s dismayed... (full context)
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...Anna runs into Aphra, she attempts to remonstrate with her, but Aphra just says that Josiah is being a good provider for the first time in his life. Anna even risks... (full context)
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...stand in the front, while artisans take the middle and laborers stand in the front. Josiah stops coming to church; in former times, this would have earned him a stint in... (full context)
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Because he likes spending his afternoons in the tavern, Josiah declares he will no longer bury anyone past noon, and he callously digs graves right... (full context)
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...find that Christopher isn’t dead or even likely to die. He’s just spooked out because Josiah has been digging a grave in the backyard since dawn. Anna tends to Christopher while... (full context)
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That afternoon, Josiah is so violent and intemperate that he’s ejected from the Miner’s Tavern. Anna is worried... (full context)
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...into the town, covered in blood and dirt, clothed in a torn shroud, and calling Josiah Bont’s name. Anna realizes the ghastly figure is Christopher Unwin. Christopher tells Anna and her... (full context)
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The villagers apprehend Josiah in his house and decide to try him at the Barmote Court, the judicial organization... (full context)
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The Barmester sentences Josiah with the punishment customarily applied to miners who steal from each others’ claims: Joss’s hands... (full context)
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...his family can come to free him. Anna assumes that Aphra will do this for Josiah, so she doesn’t worry about it. It rains all night and all the next day,... (full context)
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Stepping back from the narrative and reflecting on Josiah’s terrible death, Anna concludes that the fault lies with everyone in the community. Because the... (full context)
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Three days after Josiah’s trial, Aphra arrives at Anna’s cottage, clutching her daughter, Faith, and demanding to know if... (full context)
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Pitying her stepmother, Anna accompanies her to collect Josiah’s body. When they arrive at the moors they find that wild animals have torn him... (full context)
Part 2: The Press of Their Ghosts
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Anna tells Elinor of the childhood traumas that molded Joss’s unscrupulous character. As a child he was conscripted into the navy, where he was raped... (full context)
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Telling Elinor about Joss’s life and realizing how much he has suffered makes Anna feel that her mind has... (full context)
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Elinor reflects Joss must have followed the quarantine because he feared conscription if he fled toward the coast,... (full context)
Part 2: Deliverance
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...begins to pray, Aphra runs shrieking into the field, waving the knife that had impaled Josiah and caused his death, and carrying Faith’s maggot-infested remains. She calls Mompellion’s name and he... (full context)
Part 3: Apple-Picking Time
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...wants Aphra buried within the village, Anna and Brand dig her a grave next to Josiah on the moors. After Anna washes and prepares her body, Elinor is buried in the... (full context)