The Wife Of Martin Guerre: Short Answer Questions And Themes

3294 words - 14 pages

The Wife of Martin GuerreShort answer questionsRohan ListonCHAPTER ONE: Artigues1) Much of the first page is taken up with descriptions of the country. What does it communicate?Descriptions of the land and country in which the characters live sets the scene and the time period of the story. On the first page, we are given images of isolation due to the heavy winter that "buried [the land] under whiteness". This gives us a view into the feudalist lifestyles of the peasants in the mountains, and the "leisure" they enjoyed despite their hard work.2) Why is the marriage of Bertrande de Rols and Martin Guerre the first scene in this novel?The marriage of Bertrande de Rols and Martin Guerre is the ...view middle of the document...

Otherwise, the family will be left in "ruin [and] despair". In a sense, Martin is expected to become his father, which we later find out is not his wish at all.5) Why can't Bertrande stay contentedly with Arnaud, a man who gives her pleasure, supports her family and is a good farmer?Despite the fact that Arnaud was "the man for whom [Bertrande] felt...a great and joyous passion", she couldn't stay contentedly with him. She was a very strong catholic who could not accept "the shadow of sin and danger which accompanied [Arnaud]", even though he made her happier than Martin ever could or would have.6) Why is nobody prepared to support and believe Bertrande?If Bertrande were to win the case against Arnaud, the only person the victory would benefit is herself. She would have peace of mind in the fact that she was right, and she would have a chance at absolution from her sins. However, she would be going against the "common good". Everyone else in her family realises that the outcome of the case will determine the family's fate in generations to come, and for this reason "would have [her] still deceived". Her sister-in-law pleads with her to drop the charges, otherwise the family "shall never be happy again [and] the farm will never prosper again."7) Why do you think Arnaud du Tilh refuses to leave Bertrande when she gives him warning of her conviction?When Arnaud came to the Guerre household in the guise of Martin Guerre, he had "originally...intended to stay only long enough to pick up a little silver or gold". However, he ended up getting more than he bargained for. He fell in love with Bertrande, which prohibited him from "deserting her to years of pain". To leave at this time would also "look like an admission of guilt". Arnaud had found himself stuck in the situation, and had no choice but to sit tight and hope that he was not found guilty.8) Why might Bertrande feel unsure about prosecuting the 'new' Martin?Bertrande, like Arnaud, was in a lose-lose situation. Her love for Arnaud was as strong as his love for her, and "he did not appear a monster" to her. However, to stay with him would be to commit "a sin most black", going against her beliefs and principles. On the other hand, prosecuting him would destroy everything that made her happy - Arnaud, her family and the farm. This caused her to be unsure about what course of action to take.CHAPTER TWO: Rieux9) What is the significance of Bertrande's confusion about the sun?Bertrande's confusion about the sun reflects her strength of mind. "Everything seemed strange...she had never before left the parish of Artigues." The first time Bertrande left Artigues and stayed in her aunt's house, the sun seemed to shine through western windows in the morning. In actual fact the windows were facing east and the sun shone as normal; the only difference was Bertrande's confused perception due to her being in a foreign place. The next time she stays in the house is when she is older and stronger, and she...

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