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Tribal Conflict In Ivanhoe

 

Sir Walter Scott in his novel " Ivanhoe" uses tribal
conflict as his central theme. The tribes are those of the
conquered Saxons and their ruling lords, the Normans. Scott
introduces the conflict by focusing on a dialogue between
two men of the lowest class, Saxon thralls. Next he
presents the other side of the conflict through two
arrogant Norman churchman, a group whose status should make
them neutral in their prejudices. Scott then mixes the
Saxons and Normans of all ranks and degrees so that the
reader may judge through their interaction which is the
victim and which is the victor.
 
Using the characters Gurth and Wamba, two Saxon thralls,
Scott is able to show the specific conflict of Norman vs
Saxon slave, for instance, when Gurth's dog's feet are
amputated by a Norman. The guilty party of this crime uses
the excuse that the dog was chasing deer in the woods to
chop off the dogs front toes. This shows how the life of a
Saxon slave is made more difficult by the Normans.
 
The next conflict presented occurs when the Priot Aymer And
Gliber are introduced as two arrogant churchman searching
for the House of Sedric. Aymer, but mostly Gilber give the
Saxon slaves Wamba and Gurth hell when they won't cooperate
willingly. Gurth chooses to use fear to insult the Normans.
The tormented Saxon slave Gurth is forced into a battle of
honor after Gilbert insults his rank and position of power.
Before blood can be spilled the battle is disolved by the
Prior Aymer. Wamba on the other hand, chooses deception to
defeat their foes by misleading them. The truth of the
conflict is revealed when these two Norman churchman,
supposedly not prejudice, treat the Saxon thralls like scum.
 
There is yet another type of conflict between the Norman
and Saxon. When the two churchman impede at Sedric's
domicile, a new type of battle is released. One not with
violence or swears, but one containing jealousy and the
need to impress the other race. The arrogant churchman
Aymer and Gilbert do this a few times, but one time in
particular is when they change into very royal and
expensive cloths before arriving at the House of Sedric.
Sedric on the other hand, uses words to make his huge feast
seem like a petty meal, making his status appear higher.
 
From these results, the victory and the victorless is
obviously clear. It is a stale mate. Both tribessucceeded
in intimidating the other. The only difference between the
two tribes is the fact that the Normans out number the
Saxons greatly, yet both races still preserve their honor.
 



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