With A Sword In My Hand Analysis

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Throughout the novel, “With a Sword in my Hand” (WASIMH), there was an ongoing theme of Marguerite struggling to fulfil the roles expected of her as the future Countess of Flanders. The author, Jean-Claude van Rijckegham highlights the struggle of how Marguerite acts, looks and the ever-continuing conflict between her and her father.

In the Medieval Flemish era, it was critical for women higher in the hierarchy to look beautiful and elegant. For Marguerite to develop as a woman, she had to pluck her hairline and her eyebrows because that was considered as real beauty. They would pluck their hair to enlarge their forehead. They also completely removed their eyebrows and eyelashes. Then, their forehead was the most significant feature. It was evident by the quote, “A woman’s finger nails must never be too long.” (pg. 19), that having long fingernails was pretty useless and again it was not stylish , nor beautiful. Constance also teaches her to bleach her own hair with dove poo. Having blonde hair was very popular. Every woman in medieval Flanders wanted bright blonde hair because it was very pretty.

In medieval times, it was important that a Countess would give birth to a male heir. In WASIMH,
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For Marguerite to develop as a woman, she had to pluck her hairline and her eyebrows because that was considered as real beauty. They would pluck their hair to enlarge their forehead. They also completely removed their eyebrows and eyelashes. Then, their forehead was the most significant feature. It was evident by the quote, “A woman’s finger nails must never be too long.” (pg. 19), that having long fingernails was pretty useless and again it was not stylish , nor beautiful. Constance also teaches her to bleach her own hair with dove poo. Having blonde hair was very popular. Every woman in medieval Flanders wanted bright blonde hair because it was very
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