Week 6 Holidays
What did I do?
Redefined my Major Work focus
After spending about three months compiling an abundance of research, notes, online articles, documentaries, etc. I have realised that I am pretty much getting nowhere. I have filled my mind and binders with so much scrambled thought that I don’t have a real header. This is why I have only been able to write about 100 words of what I called ‘mood’ writing – pretty much just a heap of artistic sounding gibberish with no foundations and no facts that makes me feel better about my progress.
And so, after wasting the entire holidays researching with no specific focus, I have spent some time redefining my major work.
Characters: I started with condensing the characters to one main character that will be followed throughout the story, Charlotte Corday. Corday learnt of the French Enlightenment from the library of the convent Abbey-aux-Dames, from this I will be able to convey the ideals that Rousseau held for women based on his own Enlightened principles. Because of the Bastille’s destruction, the Abbey was closed and Corday was sent to her Aunt’s home in Caen Normandy – which soon became a refuge for the Girondins – and her brothers joined forces against the growing rebellions. I find that her perspective is well-rounded and will portray the revolution from many angles. I think that I will benefit from limiting the story in this way.
I will definitely still be including the Guillotine as a persona to represent the executions that took place and I may still include other perspectives such as Pauline Leon or Theroigne de Mericourt (who each separately vouched for women to take up arms so that they may be seen as equal) who will appear between the events of Corday’s story. I will not be using the perspectives of those who published literary works, such as Olympe de Gourges, as they are known for their writing and are able to be expressed through that alone in my story.
Setting: As Charlotte Corday is known for her actions during The Reign of Terror, mainly the murder of Jean-Paul Marat, I condensed the time frame down to 1789 to 1795 so that I can express the impacts on and of her life. I will include the conflict between the Girondins and the Jacobins and the former’s resentment towards the violence of the executions.
My story will definitely be set in Caen and Paris. There may also be other places that will be featured where other relevant famous figures were held and/or executed.
Plot: The plot will remain in the same sequence, as my Major Work is based on real events and people of the revolution, however certain events will likely be taken out. Segments such as Queen Marie-Antoinette’s wedding, her fleeing the Women’s March and her trial will likely be taken out of the story. However, she will likely still be mentioned throughout the story, especially at her death.
The story will continue after Corday’s execution to convey the effect that her actions caused, such as the actions of other women and their consequential punishment. (e.g. Olympe de Gourges)
In a time of rebellion, liberty and vicious revolution, what role did women play and how were they rewarded?
Ultimately, women did not gain a great deal from the French Revolution in terms of equal rights, which is largely disappointing from a period of [almost] total revolution, but they did play a major role in the revolution itself and they did make their voices heard.
Images: My own