The Life Of A Simple Man

997 words - 4 pages

The Life of a Simple Man is a book written by Emile Guillaumin. It is about a French man by the name of Etienne Bertin. The story is set during the reign of Napoleon in France. Etienne grew up amongst the peasants of the French lower class. He grew as the son of a father therefore he didn't not have much knowledge of the urban society of the larger towns and cities of the time. Also, because he was the son of a peasant farmer, he was not introduced to an education because his family could not afford it, and education was not something that the people of time considered to be as important.The book altogether is not a good historical source. It is a secondary source because it is a book written by an author, which contains characters that may or may not have actually existed at the time. The book does not accurately portray the happenings of events at the time, for all we know so of the details may have been fictitious and made up by the author. The purpose of the book is to present its audience with an insight of the life of a peasant and to make it more entertaining it contains a character who leads a life that not all peasants we fortunate to live. The setting of the book is in rural France, which is greatly convenient as the book is about a French peasant. The setting changes throughout the story.The book reveals that the nature of the peasant life was not all that pleasant, as one would imagine. Sanitation would be a major problem, but the peasants lived to deal with it. Peasants tended to have large families; preferably sons to help do the farming while to women stayed at home and fulfilled their duties. The large families caused crowded living conditions and so it was hard not to get onto each other's nerves. Arguments were certain to break out and this caused families to break apart. For instance if the son and his wife are living at home with the son's parents, they are certain to get into arguments, and once the son had enough money saved up to be able to stand on his own two feet, he would move out and begin to start life on his own with his own family. Family ties may or may not have been broken but this generally was the way things worked out in order to keep peace amongst the family.The French Revolution and Napoleon had a large affect on the lives of the French peasants. Many peasants went off to join Napoleon's army during his reign. This caused families to suffer somewhat due to the male going off to fight in the wars and not being home farming his land to supply and support his family with food and adequate funds. The French Revolution affected the lives of the French peasants in a way that it caused a lot of changes to be made in the way people lived. For instance the Equality of the...

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