The Long Patrol Links Interviews Forums Brian Jacques Releases The Bookshelf Editorials Features

A Response to "A Hidden Message"
-Lord Trawnbull Thickstripe
September 30th, 2003

While the books of the Redwall Series are written in a world of "equality among the sexes", that doesn't necessarily mean that female and male characters within the books are equal on political, emotional, or other levels.

First off, the series takes place in a medieval world. This is based on the types of characters and devices used:
  • Warriors
  • Pirates Nomads
  • (and offspring of these)

  • Bows
  • Arrows
  • Swords
  • Daggers
  • Spears
  • Pikes
  • Slings

.....and the list of course goes on, as this was just a demonstration of how the obvious time period is, of course, medieval.

During "Medieval Times", women did not have much of a say and in a majority of cases were nothing but housewifes or providers of children, which one can observe is the case in most of the female involvement in the Redwall Series, with some exceptions. Single women in the middle ages actually had more power than married women(which is in a way seen with Mariel, Grath and Cregga). They could accumulate property, appear in court without men to pursue litigation, and answer complaints. Upon marriage, a woman sacrified everything to her husband and lost all legal competency. This is sort of seen with the union of Dandin and Mariel, where Dandin assumes the main role in the marriage.

I personally believe that the whole introduction of lead female characters was to keep abreast of current politics and femi-nazism, so that nobody would accuse Brian Jacques of being chauvinistic or sexist in any way.

Therefore, because of the essential time period of the book, female characters do not have huge roles, which makes sense. Hypothetically, if Redwall were set in current times, I'm sure it would be much different.

-Lord Trawnbull Thickstripe

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