Return Of Martin Guerre Analysis

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Society thinks of someone’s identity as a stagnant object that is un-swayed by the environment around them. However, there are many factors that go into what someone’s identity is. The novel “The Return of Martin Guerre” by Natalie Zemon Davis, discusses how gender roles and identity can affect a person. Both topics, gender roles and personal identity, have individual issues as well as compound issues in today’s society. They exist on their own but additionally, they influence each other. The environment and people that surround a person can also influence who these people end up being. These issues are major topics in “The Return of Martin Guerre” and the story of Bertrande. Gender roles are something that people in today’s society struggle…show more content…
I believe that Bertande was given a great chance, planned or not, after she married Martin. I wonder what would have happened if the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” were given the same situation as Bertrande. The woman’s husband was very controlling and over bearing. However, he was a doctor, a man of power and rank, he was this woman’s best option. He locked her away and kept her drugged because she was suffering from post-partum depression. Because of his actions towards her, she ended up becoming mentally unstable and presumably killed herself, the ending of the story is ambiguous as to what exactly happens. Bertande was given the chance to live her life for a great time while being first married to Martin. She could finish being a child, she didn’t have to become a mother just because she reached the child-bearing age. She was given freedoms that the other woman never had. They both became prisoners to their assigned roles in their relationships and societies, however, Bertrande must have been able to work the system in order to create the best life for her. Her allegiance to the “fake” Martin leads me to believe that she understood how good it was to be attached to higher ranking people, than to just be seen as a daughter. In addition, I believe the other woman understood her role as a wife to this doctor was better than being a divorced woman in her society. They both must have understood at one point, they were choosing the lesser of two
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