Love And Marriage In 'Kristin Lavransdatter 1 : The Wreath'

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In Sigrid Undset’s book, Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Wreath, she tells the story of the youth and romance that the title character goes through during her childhood and teenage years, which eventually leads to her marriage to Erlend Nikulaussøn. Being set in medieval Norway, it gives a picture, although at times through rose-colored glasses, of life at the time, especially for young women. While such elements such as love and marriage are embellished at times, others such as the hold of religion and folk beliefs, social hierarchy, and the importance of family and honor are definitely accurate. The largest focus of the book is on love and marriage during the medieval era. It specifically looks at the the choice between an arranged marriage or to marry the person that Kristin loves. This, from my opinion, is the part of the story that takes the most modern outlook on life. We see that even after Kristin gives herself to Erlend, breaks off her marriage with Simon, kills Erlend’s mistress, and even becoming pregnant out of wedlock that she still marries her love, Erlend (pg. 134,178-181, 231-232, 264). In most cases the outcome would have most likely been that she would still have to marry Simon. While women at the time could protest the choice for the arrangement. Kristin even says it herself, “I don’t think I could ever love a man so dearly that I would go against my parents’ will for his sake.”(pg. 76) We also see that Lavrans, Kristin’s father, is unusually lenient on

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