chapter  2
18 Pages

Community

ByNancy Locklin

Chapter two, “Community,” reflects on the participants in the fatal incident and the members of the community around them—what connects everyone and what has the potential to divide them. It soon becomes clear that this is a complex society. The Nayl family is literate, French speaking, and belongs to the professional and judicial elite of the surrounding area. The Martin family is Breton speaking and connected to the agricultural and market life of the countryside. At first glance, it seems odd for these families to intermarry. Yet, parish registers reveal that the two families, and everyone around them, were interconnected via the celebration of marriages, baptisms, and burials. The chapter includes a study of spiritual kinship through godparentage and discusses the importance of maintaining honor in the eyes of one’s neighbors. This chapter concludes by suggesting that even stable communities can become ruptured by conflict or disputes, which is the subject of the next chapter.