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Joan of Arc - Essay Example

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Instructor Joan of Arc Among the world's population, only a few people reach the pinnacle of enthusiastic approval not only in their countries of origin, but also in the whole world. Such people become a model of good deeds amongst the world population…
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Joan of Arc
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Joan of Arc

For this reason, the world continues to remember these people long after their demise. One such person who epitomizes selflessness is Joan of Arc, also known as the Maid of France. Joan of Arc overcame challenges that appeared insurmountable at her time and got unheralded achievements. Joan of Arc lived in an era when women did not take a centre stage in matters regarding leadership with male dominance being the order of the day. In the same period, nations engaged one another in wars, which made it a challenge for women to take a leading role. This expose gives an analysis of Joan of Arc's life and the accomplishments, which made her break from the traditional self-image of women. Commonly referred as the Maid of France, Joan of Arc was born in 1412 to Jacques d’Arc and Isabeau Romee, poor farmers at Domremy in the valley of the Meuse (Newman 431). As a young peasant girl, Joan received an education similar to other peasant girls. In this regard, she did not learn how to read and write, but Joan learnt sewing, spinning and repeating the Ave Maria. For someone who went through an informal system of education, it is ironical that Joan of Arc became a subject to many literary works by acclaimed authors. More ironical is that Joan of Arc died at the age of nineteen years (Stanhope 4). Nonetheless, famous English writers such as Shakespeare and Holinshed reviled Joan of Arc, while Southey and Schiller idealized her work with Voltaire ridiculing her (Stone 3). However, for a young girl whose childhood activities included tending to her father’s flocks and working in the field’s, Joan of Arc became a symbol of what Mark Twain referred as a “peerless human being” (Stone 5). In addition, Mark Twain called her “the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced” with George Bernard Shaw calling her “the queerest fish among the eccentric worthies of the Middle Ages” (Knopf 151). As a young girl, Joan of Arc did not demonstrate any extraordinary acts of boldness and heroism. In fact, Joan of Arc appeared timid when speaking to strangers with her neighbors referring her as a simple-minded though a compassionate girl (Stanhope 4). Joan of Arc’s acts of compassion included tending and nursing the sick and accommodating any wayfarer who found their way to Joan’s home. In addition, Joan was an embodiment of a pious life, which in many cases made her a subject of ridicule by her neighbors and other people. In the fields, Joan would kneel and pray in solitude and go to church and make devotions, which made her spend her pastime in a manner different from the children her age (Stanhope 5). In effect, this young girl started defining her own path at an early age, differentiated from her age mates. Instead of spending time with her peers playing in the fields after spending the day herding or in the farms, Joan of Arc’s commitment to God at her age was exceptional. While Joan was growing up, France was undergoing a series of conflicts between them and England, in the famous period of the Hundred Years’ of War. During Joan’s life in particular, the infant King of England, Henry VI of England, was proclaimed King of France, leaving the rightful heir, Charles the dauphin, holding his weakened courts in a few French provinces (Barstow, “Joan of Arc” 31). At this time, Joan was only thirteen years, and she had started experiencing visions regarding her being the person who would deliver France ... Read More
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