Patriarchal Society In Janet Lewis's The Wife Of Martin Guerre

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Topic: Bertrande’s position as a woman in a patriarchal society makes her choices impossible. Discuss. Janet Lewis’ novella, The Wife of Martin Guerre presents a hierarchical society that disregards the voice of women in society who seek justice. Throughout the novel, Bertrande is depicted as a strong, independent women however, her ability to express her objections is restricted due to feudal system being an important part of the 16th century. Furthermore, although the French parochial lives under the patriarchal system, Bertrande is able to strongly express her decisions when taking the case of Arnuad du Tilh in court. It is also evident that Bertrande is willing to hold up her position is society when her husband suddenly decides to leave, yet she has knowledge that…show more content…
Bertrande expresses her true thoughts and decisions internally, but is unable to openly share them with society due to the feudal and patriarchal society being a barrier for women like her. Bertrande has a strong link to Catholicism and when Arnuad du Tilh is faced in court, they have no option but to give him a death sentence. However, Bertrande completely opposes this case in “not demanding [Arnaud 's] death.” Regardless of Bertrande’s choice, no one listens to her as they believe it is the for the best that Arnuad du Tilh should not live anymore due to the sins he has committed. This signifies that although Bertrande has voiced her opinions there is no possibility that she is going to have a significant impact on society that deters women from their choices and decisions. This scene is followed by when Bertrande feels she is being dragged “down at every step,” by the “burden of her sin.” This shows that
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