The Return Of Martin Guerre Analysis

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Deception Under an Assumed Identity Natalie Zemon Davis, is a famous innovative historian who focuses closely on areas of the past that seem to be forgotten, or not so much spoken of. The Return of Martin Guerre is a true example of Davis’ unique writings. Giving readers an up close look at the private lives of peasants, her source material mainly comes from the book Arrest Memorable written by a native to the region, Jean de Coras. This book combined evidence, precise arguments, and certain judgements made in the case, giving readers an up close look at the peasant ways of life and their ambition towards it. Another source used my Davis was Historia of Guillaume Le Sueur which was published around the same time as the Arrest and was originally…show more content…
Bertrande was married to Martin Guerre who was a young peasant.. Both Bertrande and Martin were in their early teens during a time when marriage customs for peasants was changing in Europe. Before Martin’s disappearance their marriage meant nothing to each other, basically because it was forced upon them. Also once Martin had been gone for several years, her identity grew less and less importan to the village causing Bertrande to become unhappy . What Davis means when she mentions “invented marriage” has much to do with his return. Bertrande’s feelings were much stronger towards the imposter Martin on account that she would finally find fulfillment of her hopes and dreams of a better life. So it’s the fact that she falls in love with a completely different man would be Davis’s point when she mentions an invented marriage. Since no written documents were available during this time, identity during this period is founded mainly by your place in society. What you make yourself out to be is by what people recognize you for. A good example is how Bertrandes identity weakens once Martin was gone, when before he left, the towns people were praising them and giving them much attention from their marriage. So you must work you way up in society in order to be well known by the…show more content…
When Martin left for war, the village did not make a great deal over it knowing that it wouldn’t effect them since he had no major impact in their lives. Although upon his return, it was as though they had been missing some great hero or king from their community. People of the village rejoiced at the sight of him crowding and gathering him, welcoming him back to their village. Although once the word got out about a possible imposter, the village quickly took sides. Half believers of Martin and the other on his Uncle Pierre’s side, who was for certain it was not the true Martin guerre. This showed the separation of both Catholics and Protestants taking sides for their beliefs which held a major impact during the middle ages. Much of the court cases during this time were unknown to historians except for what left of written records. Witnesses were used as a way of finding the truth to most cases. This was found in those records left behind from different marriage agreements and so forth. As revealed in the book the village people were the ones who took place in most court judgments. In the end, this period of little documentation shows that incredible things like this happen in real life and are not just made up,. The Return of Martin Guerre is a deceiving

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