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The Agency by Y.S Lee

analytical Essay
1046 words
1046 words
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Historical fiction shapes a plot and characters on real events, settings, and people that happened in the past. Y.S. Lee’s The Agency, is an example of historical fiction which is based in the Victorian era. In the text, a female detective agency exists whose goal is to expose the scandalous secrets of some of the wealthiest in Britain. The plot is created through combining historical facts with fiction which makes it believable for the reader. Beginning with examining the narrator is crucial for beginning the analysis of this novel. The narrator, along with the principle characters, have a contemporary view on the world which makes it simplistic for the reader to comprehend. The Agency requires the reader to think critically about what would happen if a non-english female detective existed in the Victorian era. How the reader interprets this novel is affected by their own life experiences. Historical detail in Y.S. Lee’s The Agency generates a believable plot line that is simplistic for a reader to understand and makes the reader analyze and think critically about the Victorian era of Britain. There exists a believable plot in The Agency because of the balance that exists between fact and fiction and Y.S. Lee’s use of necessary anachronism. In order to legitimize the fiction, historical details are used. The merging of fact and fiction is clearly seen when the narrator says: “as she emerged from the omnibus in Great George Street, the first brass nameplate she saw was that of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the most eminent engineer in the country” (Lee 161). This demonstrates how Y.S. Lee easily merges both fact and fiction in the same sentence. Isambard Kingdom Brunel is indeed an historical figure while Easton Engineering is comple... ... middle of paper ... ...the trials and tribulations of the Britain Chinese community in the Victorian era. She rewrote the stereotypical history with a protagonist who could of been a much younger version of herself in this era. Just as the novelist set herself in that time, it enables the reader to envision themselves in the past. The interweaving of fact and fiction in The Agency enables the reader to accept the historical premise. Both the narrator and main characters like Mary have a modern view on the world. They can be easily contrasted with historical characters in the way which they speak. The Agency challenges the common plot of Victorian novel which tests the reader common beliefs of the past. Having this non english female detective helps the reader place themselves in her shoes and continually ponder about the main mysteries of the novel. Works Cited Y.S. Lee's The Agency

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how historical fiction shapes a plot and characters on real events, settings, and people that happened in the past, such as y.s. lee's the agency.
  • Analyzes how y.s. lee's use of necessary anachronism creates a believable plot in the agency.
  • Analyzes how the narrator in the agency is familiar to the reader, which makes the style of the novel not challenging. mary's views are sophisticated for her time and this adds more of a mystery to her.
  • Analyzes how y.s. lee uses common stereotypes to enhance the mystery of her novel and provide a different perspective to the challenges of the chinese in britain.
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