Two Lives Reflected Essay, Research Paper
Two Lives Reflect
Gluckel von Hameln or Glikl and Marie de L Incarnation lived mirror like lives in Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth Century Lives by Natalie Zemon Davis. The two women were very devout in their religion. They were both well-educated women. They were both motivated women. They both broke the boundaries that women faced in the 17th Century.
Glikl was a devout Jew. She married at the age of twelve as most of the Jews did unlike Christian women of the times that wed at 18. The two lived with each of their parents for a year after marriage. This was a typical custom of Jewish marriages in the 17th Century. They then moved out into a rented house and two servants. This was all that they were allowed to have. She married off her children in several different cities. This was a Jewish strategy of marrying children in cities that were far off and some that were close to home. The reasoning behind this was that there were insufficient Ashkenazim of the proper status to go around. They also took advantage of the Jewish law permitting first cousins to marry with one of their daughters.
Marie de L’Incarnation was an Ursuline sister in Quebec. She was of the two women who founded the first Ursuline convent and school for girls in North America. Marie spent years insisting on Christian truth to people that her countrymen intruded upon. She would take on a pastoral role to the Buisson wagoners and stablemen. She would get them to admit their faults and failings while she presided over the dinner table, lecturing them on God and his commandments, rousing them if they had gone to bed without saying their prayers. Marie went to Canada to spread the word. She taught at a school in both Algonquian and Iroquoian languages. She would also go on flying missions to spread the word farther from the Quebec center of Catholicism. She wrote catechisms, prayers, dictionaries, and a big book of sacred history and holy things in the Algonquin language. She also wrote a Huron catechism and an Iroquois dictionary and catechism in Iroquois.
Glikl was an educated woman. For a woman in the 17th Century she was educated well above average. Glikl went Jewish primary school where she learned to read and write. Only about twenty percent of the population could read and write then even less for a woman. She also had a great business sense. She competed in a market that was mostly compiled of men. She was well versed in the personal aspect of trade. Glikl participated in all business decisions with her husband Haim.
Marie could also read and write. She was an excellent teacher, multilingual in French, Iroquoian, and Algonquian languages. She taught from her heart. She was a groundbreaker in Savage conversion. Under her tutelage the savages of the new world learned Christianity quickly and converted almost instantaneously.
After Glikl s husband died she took over his gem trading business. Before he died he was one of the most prosperous of Hamburg s Ashkenazim. After he passed Glikl guided the company beyond what Haim ever tried. She pushed the business to farther places and even took on young women as apprentices. She then wrote her memoirs that were for her children to teach them about life and inform them about her life.
Marie was unsatisfied with her life in France so she moved to the new world to further the knowledge of God. She did what it took to get to the new world. When she arrived she worked at the Convent and helped to set up a new church. She helped the plagued people at the hospital. She helped the badly wounded. She went out of her way to help those no one else would. When this was not enough she endured the task of teaching the savage Iroquoian and Algonquian people the Christian teachings. After she was contempt with her teachings she went on to write about the way God inspired her and led her through her life.
Glikl was successful. She took on a job and succeeded in becoming financially secure in a male dominated trade. She traveled vastly. She gained the respect of her male counterparts. She thought education was important. She was well educated which was very rare for anyone in that time especially females. She wrote memoirs that gave people a look into the life of a 17th Century Jew. Her works are some of the few that exist of a female writer in that time.
Marie made it to the New World. She broke language barriers to spread the word of God. She was one of two women to establish the first Ursuline convent in the new world. She helped build and rebuild the church. She wrote her memoirs. These told of her torture, self-deprivation, her internal agony, her struggle to become closer to God, and the resulting effect of psychological torment she received.
These women lived very similar lives even though they lived miles apart and were of different religions. Both Glikl and Marie overcame the adversities that they faced as women in the 17th Century to become successful in their lives. They were also some of the only 17th Century women to leave an accurate, consistent, and detailed summary of their lives.