• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Finding an Identity in Marie de France's Bisclavret and St. Augustine's Confessions

Extracts from this document...


The Contrasting Quest for Finding an Identity in Marie de France's Bisclavret and St. Augustine's Confessions In both Marie de France's Bisclavret and St. Augustine's Confessions, the main characters' identity is connected in some way with his material possessions. St. Augustine seeks a new identity within the church. He views his house, clothes, role in society and other possessions as aspects of his secular life and secular self, which he wants to separate from his new true religious self within the church. In Bisclavret, Bisclavret turns into a werewolf and loses everything that defined his true self: his house, his possessions and his role in society are all lost when he assumes the identity of a were wolf. In Bisclavret and Confessions, both characters want to distinguish themselves from their self their a true identity, the latter being the form that the character feels best expresses who he is. This contrasting theme of dependence and independence from material goods to establish one's true identity is used in both books to highlight and character and society's values, whether religious or secular. ...read more.


The phrase "dropped away" leaves the reader with the assumption and image that Augustine is departing from his sins and his old identity, dropping his possessions, and seeking out a new true identity. In Bisclavret, Bisclavret's clothes are not only a symbol of his social status, but they are also an indication of Bisclavret's true identity. Bisclavret's clothes show that he is a nobleman, an upper-class member of Brittany; whereas his lack of clothing makes him a beast, and animal that has no place in society. Throughout the story, Bisclavret tries to get his clothing back so that he can transform back into a nobleman, the form that he feels best represents his true self. In Bisclavret, Marie de France shows the importance of clothes and how they determine who a person is in society - the recovering of his clothes is the only way Bisclavret can return to his human form. ...read more.


(153-154). This shows that the king has an inkling that Bisclavret is somewhat human. Bisclavret relies on the shrewd king and his servants to recognize he is human because he does not have any of his status symbol possessions to show he is a nobleman. St. Augustine in Confessions and Bisclavret in Bisclavret are the same in that material possessions - or lack thereof - define each character to themselves and to society. St. Augustine wants to get rid of these possessions that serve as reminders of his sinful past in his newfound religious identity. On the other hand, Bisclavret feels that without his possessions and clothes, he is not his true self because he is a were wolf. Both Confessions and Bisclavret show two men trying to establish themselves in society. Both books also reveal that material goods socially categorize people. Both Bisclavret and Augustine feel restricted by their possessions - because Bisclavret lacks his status symbol possessions, he is reduced and is ostracized. Augustine's possessions, a constant reminder of his past, prevent him from taking on his new religious identity and lifestyle within the church. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Is identity given to us or do we create our own?

    The first school of thought is Determinism. Determinism sociologists suggest that the individual acts accordingly to the prepared script laid down by society. The values, institutions and culture of society shape individual identity. These are acquired in the process of socialisation where individuals learn to conform to socially accepted, correct or proper forms of identities with little or no freedom.

  2. Explore conflicting accounts of Jewish Identity in

    Barbara cannot understand this attitude and does not even want to consider not seeing her Jewish Family anymore, however her English family "The Vaughan's" talk about them as though they are an entity to be ashamed of, suggesting that although they are aware of her heritage she is "after all only half.

  1. The application of identity as an 'unfixed' and 'unstable' state within visual arts. Identity ...

    that we should consider gender issues before embarking upon any other consideration of identity. (7) So we can see that our environment plays a vital part in our early development, but as we and grow and gain experience of other environments our earliest sources of reference are amended.

  2. Beauty and the Beast.

    Style began go move from monstrously large to demure. The arms were usually slimmer fitting for day dresses, something that constricted their arm movement to create a more evident demureness about the women, so that she can get the high honour of marriage. In the beginning of the century Grecian-like dresses, which were little more than sheer nightgowns were adopted, leaving women without much keeping them warm.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work