After reading The Return of Martin Guerre I have learned many things about peasant life. The book taught me about the importance of family life to the peasants, marriage, economic life, level of education, different religions that existed and their legal system.
It seems that family life is extremely important to the peasants in many different ways. For example, the quote " Perhaps Martin's mother had urged the move, for the Basque women were said to be forward, making known their wants" (page 7), suggest that Martin's mother was concerned for the well being of her family since there was a war. This shows that the mother cares more about the family than the wealth that they had had in Basque. We also see that the men like Martin's father probably listened to his wife because he loves her (but this is only if they had moved because the mother wanted to move, but still it was a possibility since Basque women were thought to be authoritative in the family household. This also implies that the peasant men had respect for their wives and probably often took whatever request their wives had into consideration.
" The testaments in the area around Artigat rarely benefit one child but instead provide dowries for the daughters and divide the inheritance equally among the sons, even if there are five of them,"(page 11). This line suggests that the sons of the family were treated equally with his brothers, in the sense that they all attained the same amount of inheritance. Also, the daughters of a family were treated equally with her sisters. This idea of equality between the same sex children of peasants sort of shows that the parents loved all of their children equally. Here we also see that the sons of the family aren't treated equally to the sisters, where the sons seem to gain more.
The line "…most often…the heirs divide the land and live near one another…" suggests that peasants…