"The marriage of Bertrande and Martin brings all sorts of advantages to the community but none to the couple." Discuss.

Essay by Year12StudentHigh School, 12th gradeA, July 2004

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As a result of their culture and beliefs, Martin Guerre and Bertrande de Rols were arranged to marry for the good of the community, the good of the two families and for the so-called good of each other. Throughout the novel, 'The Wife of Martin Guerre,' many advantages can be identified, which impact either the village, Bertrande or Martin, whether it be before their affection grew, as their affection grew, when Martin leaves home for eight years and Uncle Pierre runs things, during the impostor phase and when the truth is discovered. It is shown in the mentioned phases of the novel, that although there are disadvantages or weaknesses of Bertrande and Martin's arranged marriage that effect them, there are also advantages and strengths that effect both of them as well as the community.

After Bertrande and Martin are married and before the period when the couple's affection for one another grows, the village or community experiences such advantages as the fact that both the de Rols and Guerre families are brought together after previous conflicts, who are also the most upper class peasants of the village and are main food source through farming, which results in an increase in productivity and sense of order for the community.

Whereas the couple do experience such disadvantages as no free will, personal choice or independence, as well as no presence of romantic love that many believe should be a major factor in a marriage. However, the couple do experience such advantages as financial security, general security in future (ie. Bertrande is protected when she moves into Guerre household after death of mother), pre-nuptial agreements, the family name is continued and there is a chance of an increase in their affection towards each another.

During the time of Bertrande and Martin's affection...