The Violation of Women's Rights in "The Burgermeister's Daughter"
454 Words2 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…show more content… "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 to her father's inability, or unwillingness to provide her with a suitable husband.
It seems interesting to me that Hermann, her father, had not set her up for marriage, and from the beginning of the book I get a strange feeling that there is an unnatural relationship between Hermann and Anna. Hermann keeps Anna to himself, and after his wife dies he brings Anna back into his house to serve in the role recently voided by his late wife. My thoughts were somewhat established in the chapter On The Run, subtitled Incest?. While Anna was forthright about her willingness to string along multiple lovers, the idea that she has an unnatural relationship with her father seems to play an integral role. It would make a lot of sense as to why Hermann never found a suitable husband for Anna, and even Anna remarks that, "during her captivity he