Analysis Of The Return Of Martin Guerre

The story, The Return of Martin Guerre, by Natalie Zemon Davis is an interesting tale of impersonation and deception. In the story, Bertrande de Rols thoughtfully uses the stereotypes of women to her advantage. Women in the time of this story were thought of the lesser gender; Bertrande benefitted from this idea as she tried to create the life and the marriage that she desired in a world where a woman’s opinion was not often considered. In the very beginning of The Return of Martin Guerre, Bertrande de Rols and Martin Guerre are married. Marriage was typical and expected of women in this day; it was considered an important and defining moment is a woman’s life as it decided what type of future she would have. Marriage was also a tool used …show more content…
However, through the issues, Bertrande stayed with Martin. Martin did not make Bertrande especially happy, but his inability to impregnate her gave her a chance to not have to be a wife quite yet. Bertrande was married young and so it is speculated that her marriage ended her childhood too early. In her book, Natalie Zemon Davis speaks about what Bertrande’s decision to stay with Martin said about her character:
Bertrande might not have put it in these words, but it seems clear for a while she was relieved that they could not have intercourse. Yet, when urged by her relatives to separate from Martin, she firmly refused. Here we come to certain character traits of Bertrande de Rols, which she was already displaying in her sixteenth year: a concern for her reputation as a woman, a stubborn independence, and a shrewd realism about how she could maneuver within the constraints placed upon one of her sex. Her refusal to have her marriage dissolved at her parents’ behest, freed her temporarily from her certain wifely duties.
Even though Bertrande surly was not very happy to have to weather the torment that followed her marriages fertility problems, she stuck by her husband because it benefited her
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Bertrande and new Martin’s end came in the form of a trail to prove that the new Martin was a fraud. Bertrande was entered into the trail by Martin’s uncle who did bot believe that his nephew had truly returned. Bertrande promised the new Martin that she would defend him as she wanted to continue her life with her improved husband. Davis wrote, “Coras and Ferrieres interviewed Bertrande first. If she wanted to betray him at this point, all she had to do was tell a story he could not repeat; instead she adhered to the text they had agreed upon months before.” With this, Davis explained how Bertrande retained that she believed the new Martin was the original.
As the trial began to go south though, Bertrande again had a decision to make. She decided that she would in the end try to save herself even if the new Martin was convicted. So as Bertrande continued to say that she believed her husband, she planned for the time that the trial turned sour. Society at this time believed that women were the weaker and more ignorant gender. Because of this thought, no one would have believed that a woman would be so capable of manipulating and

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