Instrumentality In The Book Of Margery Kempe

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The Powerful Penis: Instrumentality, limited subjectivity and fungibility in The Book of Margery Kempe

A woman’s beliefs and values hold no importance when the men in her life dictate all of her choices and needs. The overall theme in The Book of Margery Kempe is shown as accepting that a man’s opinion is the only one with any power or value over her can be seen through her use of instrumentality, patriarchy and psychological oppression. The book of Margery Kempe puts into light just how much value was given to the men in society, and how little value was placed on the women. Margery Kemp played the role of wife, mother, and lover of God and her religion all throughout her life. She did this, though, by only making the men in her life appear
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Although she has desires to live a holy life of virgin and give her full devoted love to God, she still allows for her husband to deny her wishes and treat her as if she was simply his possession. “He would have his will and she obeyed with great weeping and sorrowing because she might not live chaste. – And so he used her as he had done before; he would not spare.” (10-11). These acts of objectifying Margery Kempe appear throughout the book, and they are acts that she gives the power of the men around her to take part in. Not only does she give power to the instrumentality of her life, but she also allows for patriarchy to reign over her…show more content…
Jesus is the only person that assures her on many occasions that she is unfungible and that no other woman could take her place. The idea that men and their opinions are the only ones that held any power continue here as well, when she finds that those around her find discomfort in the way that she weeps and cries for her Lord. “And, as soon as she perceived that she should cry, she would keep it in as much as she might, so that the people should not have heard it, for it annoyed them” (51). Weeping for Jesus Christ is such an important part of Margery Kemps gift from God, and yet she allows for the thoughts of the men around her to affect her grieving process that she gives such value to. Fiona Tolhurst states that Margery Kempe judges herself based on the thoughts of the men in her life. “Because of this confidence, Kempe categorizes men based on their acceptance or rejection of her cryings, thus underscoring the correctness of her own position” (Tolhurst
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