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The Burgermeister's Daughter by Steven Ozment - Book Report/Review Example

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This essay discusses the book The Burgermeister's Daughter by Steven Ozment which illustrates life for women during the 16th and 17th century in Germany. The writer articulates a thesis based on gender-differences; the extreme sexism obtaining in 16th century Germany…
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The Burgermeisters Daughter by Steven Ozment
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Download file to see previous pages  Historically, women were mostly treated in only one way—badly! Her trials and tribulations, the restrictions imposed and the duties expected of her were awesome! Most of the rules and regulations weighed heavily against her. Stripped of all rights, society had no standards for her, only double standards to deal with her, and hypocrisy reigned supreme.
But this opinion will change if one reads the story of Anna Buschler, who rebelled against the constricting mores of her time. The important issue is the rules of the book and the law of the land allowed her full freedom to carry on with her legal fight. This legal battle lasting for three decades throws profound light on the social, political and intellectual portrait of Germany as prevailed at the end of the Middle Age. As per the social conventions prevailing, “Both men and women were then expected to adhere to clearly defined standards of behavior specific to gender, social class, and contemporary values.”(Ozment, 1997, 2)
This epic legal battle between Anna Buschler(1496/98-1552) and her family has done much to unravel the social conditions of that era, more than what any other researched work of a historian would have done. The lawsuit concerned a family, that too between the father and his daughter. The processes involved indicate from the point of women rights that “the centuries between 1300 and 1500 had been something of a golden age for women-their educational and vocational opportunities increased and with them their civic freedom….” (Ozment, 1997, 5)
But the situation changed soon. “….the sixteenth century turned back the clock. Women were again squeezed out of the guilds and public places and increasingly confined to the home—a reversal of fortunes for which some scholars have held the patriarchal ideals of Protestant reformers especially responsible.”(Ozment, 1997, 5) Anna went through a horrid time.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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