The Fourteenth Of October

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade January 2002

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Wouldn't it be horrible if there were no peace in the world since you could remember it? In this book, The Fourteenth of October by Bryher, the main character have not taste peace since he could remember. "There had been no peace as long as I could remember." (P. 7). This book clearly showed us the social status, the religious influence, and the history of the Norman Conquest during the beginning of the medieval period.

Social statuses have a great impact to the story. Since the first chapter, the book has mentioned the importance of the nobility such as the Earls, the dukes, the Lords, the knights etc, and it also mentioned the insignificance of the lower class such as the peasant, serfs etc. The Normans see the Saxon as nothing; they used them as surfs, in another word "slave", and have no respect for them. "Oh, that Saxon will eat anything; it is a wonder that he hasn't devoured his own dogs."

(P. 18) was a joke that Sir Rollo made about one of the surf that he had.

Religion played a very important role in the story. To the narrator, the Norman Conquest was the war for god. Many people that fought for Duke William, who was in close relation with the roman church, supposed him because Duke William follows the church's order. "Duke William is a believer; he has fought the Church's enemies." (P. 209) were said by a priest to the narrator about why he liked the Duke so much. Throughout the story, many events was happened because of religion.

Fourteenth of October was a fiction history book about the Norman Conquest. The whole story was based on the Norman Conquest and only fiction part of the story was the existence of the narrator. Many events were based on true history in the story. "William's army is a single lance at his command. If his knights question him, there is no riding away to their castles; he kills them." (P. 204) were based on the fact that after Duke William became the king of English, he took about four years complete a series of campaigns against the English nobility, most of whom did not accept him.

Fourteenth of October wasn't a very good book for an English class but it surely could make it to the Middle age's history class. People who likes history would love to read the book; but to others, it would be a very boring book. Overall, it is just another boring book that was written to be put on the bookshelf.