After reading The Return of Martin Guerre, imagine that you are a villager in the town of Artigat during the time covered in this narrative; your character might be a poor peasant, a merchant, an artisan, or a person of higher socioeconomic status. You could also consider writing the narrative from the perspective of one of the legal officials from outside the community of Artigat. Keep in mind the relationship between social class, literacy, and relationship to power structures in shaping the form of your narrative.
Compose a narrative in which you create a fictional historical character, making sure to include biographical details for your fictional character. If this feels unnatural in the narrative, provide an introduction explaining your character before you begin the narration. Discuss your history and life in the village, and discuss how you became acquainted with Arnaud du Tilh/Martin Guerre. Considering the evidence presented in the text, discuss why your character is inclined to believe or disbelieve the claims of du Tilh, making sure to include the interactions your character experienced with the main characters of the story. Discuss your character’s assessment of the legal findings, and whether your character believes that justice was served in the case. Stronger papers will exhibit evidence that the student understands the major themes and events developed by Natalie Zemon Davis in The Return of Martin Guerre. For this narrative, it is particularly important that you consider the narrator’s audience and how much time has passed between the events being described and the narrative being given. Also, remember to consider the motivations of the character as you write.