Authoritarian Society in "The Wife of Martin Guerre" Analytical Essay by beccs

Authoritarian Society in "The Wife of Martin Guerre"
A discussion of how Janet Lewis's novel, "The Wife of Martin Guerre," illustrates the concept that in an authoritarian society there is no regard for the interests and needs of individuals.
# 58188 | 1,204 words | 0 sources | 2005 | AU
Published on May 03, 2005 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper discusses how Lewis demonstrates effectively, in her novel, by means of several major characters, such as Monsieur Guerre, Martin Guerre, and Bertrande, how the restrictive nature of the patriarchal system impacts negatively on individuals. It also shows how the clearly defined roles assigned to both women and men led to great difficulties on a personal level, which then have consequences that affect the community as a whole.

From the Paper:

"The role of men in the authoritarian society of rural France was both a powerful and frustrating one. The character of Monsieur Guerre is used effectively by Lewis to demonstrate the negative effects of the restrictions placed upon the male individual by society. The position of cap d'hostal is an extremely important one in the structure of the society. His supremacy is so complete that any actions not first approved by him are considered illegal, he has a great power over all members of his household and can expect complete obedience from them at all times. However, with this power comes a great burden. He is responsible for the welfare of all those under him, and so he must always act in a manner that will benefit the mesnie as a whole. As a result of this he is allowed little emotional freedom and expression. We can see the effects that the role of cap d'hostal has on the individual in Monsieur Guerre. Although a natural authoritarian figure, Monsieur Guerre harshness is accentuated by the burden of his position. On two occasions we can see the extent to which Monsieur Guerre must go to consider the welfare of his household. The first of these is the bear hunt which a young Marin takes part in. as Martin has not asked permission to go on the hunt; Monsieur Guerre is required to punish him."

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Authoritarian Society in "The Wife of Martin Guerre" (2005, May 03) Retrieved January 25, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Authoritarian Society in "The Wife of Martin Guerre"" 03 May 2005. Web. 25 January. 2021. <>