Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Return of Martin Guerre

The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and analyze the check The fetch of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zamon Davis. Specifically, it will discuss the emotional state of the peasant during the core Ages. This throw is a fascinating account of a true(a) case that happened during the sixteenth degree centigrade in France. The book is also an excellent example of how the peasants lived in the Middle Ages, from what they ate, to how they traveled and what their family lives were like. This book shows that life in the Middle Ages was vexed and demanding, save it seems a little bit field pansyful and serene, too.The main occupations were terra firma and raising sheep or goats, and there were tradesman in the liquidations who worked for a reinforcement, such(prenominal) as a shoe marquer, a blacksmith, and such. Martin Guerre and his family were tile makers, but they also farmed and increase sheep to constitute relatively prosperous in their small liquidation (Davi s 14). The peasants were uneducated, (the Guerres town did non even have a schoolmaster), and most could non sound out, and could further write a small amount (Davis 15).They also married their children stumble rattling young, and often made matches for them. Martin Guerre married when he was save fourteen, and his married muliebrity was even younger (Davis 16). Life revolved around the village, the church, and the family, and it was a very busy but seemingly contented lifestyle. Their main concerns were the family and simple survival. Everything they did was to menstruate and textilee the family, from raising grains and grapes to raising sheep so they could spin the wool into cloth and clothe the family members.When they became more(prenominal) successful, it was to make money and rise up in stature in the village community, but peasants who did non have trades worked the worldly concern for their own survival. They were also extremely close-knit families, often livi ng near each other, so family was important for them, as well. They worked to compassher as a family, and widows lived with one of the grown give-and-takes, creating an extended family unit. Family relationships were important in this society, and they were the source of drink down and dowries for the children, which were very important at the time.In the Basque country, families often lived together, as the former notes, When a household is set up with two generations of married folk, it is not the Basque combination of the old heir and the young heir, but a widow p bent, usually the mother, with one of her married children (Davis 11). Even when Martins uncle married, he moved near to another house, and lived close to his relatives. Martin returned with his bride to his fathers house after they married, and lived with his family low one detonating device (Davis 18).Since their main concern was survival and perpetuation of the family, this indicates how important family life was to the peasants. Women had a lesser position than men did in the society. Davis writes, At the parish mass, she would have to get utilise to the fact that her women did not push ahead of the men to make their finish offerings, did not go well-nigh the church to collect for the vestry, and din not serve as sacristans (Davis 15). Women were also blamed for a mans impotence, as Davis notes. She writes, In the sixteenth century, it was usually blamed on the power of a woman outside the marriage (Davis 21).The fact that Martin abandoned his wife and b atomic number 18-assborn son after eight years of marriage shows what low status women had in society. She had no recourse, she lived in a foreign household, and she could not even remarry. Girls were not educated instead, they learned womens work like spinning and cooking, and they were always at the mercy of their husbands. Davis writes, First a world where organizational structure and frequent identity were associated exclusively with males (Davis 29). The women worked in the fields, helped raise the livestock, served as midwives, cooked and baked.They were essential to universal life in the peasant world, but they held no rights or privileges. The only women that existingly rose up in society were the widows, who could earn the observe of others and wield in dress power (Davis 31). Armand Du Tilh was able to get away with his delusion for several reasons. First, he resembled Guerre enough that tribe mistook him for the missing man (Davis 39). Next, he learned all he could about the missing man so that he could fool Martins family into believing he was actually Guerre.Davis writes, He assured himself as cunningly as he could about Martin Guerre, his situation, his family, and the things he used to say and do (Davis 39). He also grew a anticipated to hide any differences in his face, and took great pains to learn the villagers names and how he interacted with them when he had lived in the village be fore. In short, he learned all(prenominal) detail about Martin Guerres life, and convinced people he was Martin because of all the expound he seemed to recall about his prior life.Davis believes that he was accepted because people wanted him to come back for all those years, and that he came announced as Martin Guerre, and so people wanted to believe it was true (Davis 43). Most of all, Bertrandes betrothal of the new Martin helped soothe the minds of others. It is easy to see why Bertrande would accept the imposter. Davis writes, What Bertrande had with the new Martin was her dream come true, a man she could live in peace and friendship (to cite sixteenth-century values) and in passion (Davis 44).They also seemed to have become very attached to each other in their new life together. In conclusion, this book is a fascinating story of deception and betrayal, but it is a fascinating glimpse into the everyday life of the sixteenth-century peasant, as well. The book shows how familie s lived, survived, and even thrived, how women were hard-boiled in society, how important the Church was to so many aspects of life, and how difficult life was for many peasants. It is a good book to read to learn the more intimate details of life in the Middle Ages.The Return of Martin GuerreThe film The Return of Martin Guerre is based on a true story about a young man, Martin Guerre, during the mid-sixteenth century. It takes place in a small peasant town, Artigat, located in southwestern France. Martin is married off at a young age but is unhappy with his life. He finalizes to abandon his family and join the army. After several years gone, he lastly returns to the village. The village is ecstatic of his return, especially his wife Bertrande. until now after a disagreement with his uncle oer land, the village begins to question whether his is truly Martin Guerre.Their skepticism proves to be accurate when finally the real Martin Guerre returns. The sham Martin, known as Pans ette is and so executed for his crime. This film illustrates the concerns and lives of the people in 16th century France, finished the interplay of social, religious and political institutions. In the film, we see marriage being treated as a social matter, rather than a religious matter. During the 16th century, marriage began to be treated as secular, instead of a sacrament. Because of this parents ascendency over whom their children married began to increase (Western Civilizations, 357).At a young age, Martins family married him off to Bertrande de Rols. Bertrande belonged to a well-off peasant family. Bertrande was chosen by Martins family based on what her family could offer to Martin. Her dowry included a bed, linen sheets, wool and a vineyard, among other items of value. Because marriage involved the inheritance of piazza, most believed it was too important of a matter to be left(p) in the hands of the children (357). Once Martins father passed, Martin would inherit his familys land.During the 16th century was the fathers role to instruct and chequer his household, while the woman was to tend to and show obedience to her husband, and also to bear children (Western Civilizations, 357). After the marriage, Bertrande moved in with Martin and his family. Martin worked underneath his father and learned from him. However soon into the marriage, it was discovered that Martin could not consummate his marriage and therefore the family did not have children. In the film, we see how infertility was dealt with socially and religiously during this time.The village poked fun at Martins infertility during a festival. During the 16th century, festivals served a social function. Usually they were used for celebration and demonstration of solidarity. However, like in this case, festivals were used as competition between classes and were incredibly violent (Wahl, Festivals notes). During a Candlemas festival, a symbolic castration took place. Martin was dressed up a s a bear. The villagers pretended to hunt him and cut off what symbolized his genitals. Bertrande claimed that he had been perplex under a spell and a Catholic exorcism is performed.Both Martin and Bertrande are tied to a post bare-assed, while the Priest performs rituals. After this, Bertrande becomes pregnant with their son, Sanxi. Though his infertility was reversed and his son was born, Martin was unhappy with his life. He did not like farming and kept to himself. After an argument with his father over stolen grain, Martin leaves during the night and does not return for several years. During this time, Martins father passes. In the 16th century, when a father dies the estate is given to the eldest son. In this case, it was Martin.However, because Martin is not around, Martins uncle takes control of the Guerres estate. In order to remark the estate within both families, Bertrandes mother marries Martins uncle. passim Martins absence, Bertrande remains married to him. Because there was no proof that Martin was dead, Bertrande was not considered a widow and therefore could not remarry. It was also not parkland for the Catholic Church to annul a marriage, unless it could be proven that all party had not freely consented to the marriage (Western Civilizations, 357).During the 16th century, a someones identity was based on his or her actions rather than appearance. For this reason, the simulated Martin Guerre, Pansette, was able to convince the village that he was the real Martin. No formal records or pictures were kept of people at this time. The people of the village relied on the memory of Martin. With Pansettes slight resemblance to Martin and his vast knowledge of Martins life, he was able to fool everyone. Pansette tells stories of the places he visited. Specifically he spoke of the men he saw from Brazil.He describes the men as naked and in chains with feathers on their heads. Pansette tells them that they eat their prisoners hearts, and share th eir land and women. He also told them that women make the decisions and go to war for the men. Bertrande seems shocked by this and asks if they are human or if they have souls. This is significant because it demonstrates the power of men at this time. In the 16th century, men made the decisions, while woman were expect to obey their husbands. Therefore it was strange for them to hear of woman having power over the men.After a dispute over the land between the formulate Martin and his uncle, his uncle begins to question whether he is the real Martin. Rumors go around about this and the village is split on this yield. With this issue, we see how it is dealt with through religion and politics. The Toulouse Parliament of France is put in charge of this matter and questions Bertrande. She stands by Pansette, claiming he is the true Martin Guerre, although she knows that he is not. From a religious point of view, by doing this she is living in somebody sin and damning her soul and polit ically, she can be hanged for this crime.This case is brought before a court. Those who testified claimed that Pansette was not an imposter, until a man walks in claiming to be the real Martin Guerre. Martins family, including Bertrande, admits that this man is, in fact, the real Martin. Pansette finally confesses that he is not Martin and learned everything he knew about him through Martin himself. Although Pansette is found guilty, the court frees Bertrande from prosecution as a collaborator. This is because the court holds the real Martin Guerre to be partially answerable for not acting as a true husband.This issue is considered so terrible because it is an issue of property. By pretending to be another man, Pansette is taking another mans wife and stealing his wealth. During the 16th century, crimes against property, such as theft and arson, were punishable by execution (Wahl, Counter renewal Lecture). The story of Martin Guerre and his return demonstrate the concerns and l ives of people in 16th century France, through social, religious and political institutions. Socially, we see the act of marriage as a secular matter, ather than a religious one, where wht dowry a woman can offer determines if she is fit to be a wife. Also, we see the issue of identity and individuality based upon knowledge and actions, rather than appearance. It can be argued that during this time people know each other better than today. To decide if Pansette was the real Martin, they based their decision around how he acted and what he remembered about life before he left (although Martins family was fooled by the fake Martin), while today identity is based a lot more on just appearance.We see how religion plays a role in their actions. They believed to fix Martins problem of infertility, they must perform an exorcism to get the demon out of him. Also, we see how by believing the fake Martin, Bertrande is living in sin under God. Finally, politically we see just how serious Panse ttes crime was. By interfering with the real Martins property (his family and land), he is committing the ultimate crime and is executed for this.

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