With A Sword In My Hand Analysis

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‘Marguerite struggles to fulfil he roles expected of her.’ Discuss

In the novel, “With a Sword in my Hand”, Marguerite demonstrates her inability to fulfil the role expected of her as a woman and as a countess in medieval society. Marguerite continuously feels pressure to be the proper woman her father expects her to be. Also, being part of the ruling family, the people of Flanders also have an expectation of how their future countess should behave and what she is to represent. However, she is constantly doing things she’s not supposed to, but they’re the things she loves to do, yet these are the times when she is able to be herself.

Marguerite struggles to fulfil the role of being a woman in many ways. She is expected to act like a proper lady and undertake activities such as making lace and painting. She must learn ways to keep herself presentable by plucking her hair, washing herself once a week and wearing appropriate clothing because beauty is “born from pain”. But these ladylike activities “give her the shits” so she takes on activities that are looked down upon as woman, such as sword fighting, horse riding and keeping male company. Margarite’s father finds out about these “hobbies” he threatens to send her to a “convent” until “her wedding day”. From the start, her society notices “she needs more practice being a lady”. Marguerites mother was beautiful and fulfilled the role of being a woman in medieval times, but even she failed, by not producing a living male
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