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The Violation Of Women's Rights In "The Burgermeister's Daughter"

663 words - 3 pages

In the historical accounts, which often read like a novel, of The Burgermeister's Daughter, Steven Ozment reveals to us the trials and tribulations of the Buschler family, and most specifically the hardships that fell upon the youngest daughter of the family, Anna. The Burgermeister's Daughter tells an intricate story, as well as revealing to the reader the world that a woman in the 16th century must live in. One key theme in The Burgermeister's Daughter is the treatment of women, and the role of social status in the pre-modern age. While in the prior decades women's rights seemed to be getting better, in the 16th century, a lot of those rights had been stripped away. The sheer hypocrisy of the people in this German society at the time was astounding, and the double standards by which men and women lived were difficult to even fathom as a modern day reader.

Anna was born into an upper-class family with a high social standing, being that her father was regarded with high political favor, and was, in fact, the Burgermeister. Anna, because of her status, was welcomed into the local royal home as a servant to the royal family, a great honor for a woman of Anna's age. Anna was an eccentric in the town of Hall; as she often ordained large ostentatious hats and dressed in a manner not fitting a proper young German girl in the 16th century. "Having her clothes cut in such a way that one could see her naked body" (Pg 17). She was also rumored to have been stealing from her father, and spending large amounts of time with various boyfriends at night at her father's home, and forcing the family steward to fetch them wine, and when the steward refused Anna "put a knife to her heart when she hesitated, once forcing her to flee in fear for her life" (Pg 19). It seems that Anna's adverse behavior may have been in part...

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