The Wife Of Martin Guerre Essay

909 Words Oct 6th, 2016 4 Pages
In the novel The Wife of Martin Guerre, by Janet Lewis, patriarchy is a major theme. This theme influences and affects every single character in the novel. Patriarchy plays a role between the relationships of Martin Guerre and both his father and Uncle Pierre. It causes Bertrande to accept the returned Martin Guerre (Arnold du Tilh) and eventually affects the accusation that he is an imposter.
The story Of Bertrande de Rols takes place during 16th century medieval times. In this medieval society social hierarchy is of importance. Patriarchy was so large during this time, that it maintained such a strict social hierarchy. The theme is a ball and chain attached to many of the main characters. How can patriarchy become these shackles? In this social system an adult male, Monsieur Guerre, holds primary power in politics, control of property, moral authority, and social privilege. In this novel this patriarchal society is patrilineal. Therefore, the male inherits the title, sometimes to the point where more distant male relatives take precedence over female relatives. Since, patriarchy maintained order in this society and most importantly the Guerre household, it is easy to see how this social system can become confining and how the characters become deprived of their own freedom. Due to this system this influences the relationships between Martin Guerre and Monsieur Guerre. Monsieur Guerre, who is absolute authority and head of the house, affects these relationships. He holds…

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