Character Analysis: The Nun Of Monza

Lacuna’s arrival to the convent, Gertrude appears and her life story takes up the following two chapters of the novel. Gertrude grew up at a time when a woman had two choices in life: the first was to find a spouse and have children while the other option was to become a nun. As a child, Gertrude had no desire to become a nun, but rather dreamt of the day when she could finally fall in love. Gertrude father indirectly forced his daughter into becoming a nun by giving her dolls dressed as nuns, sending her to Sunday school, and having her read the bible.
The brain washed child grew up to having no choice but to move to a convent and take on the life long commitment of becoming a nun. The ceremony in which Gertrude accepts her future being a life devoted to God, she ponders her decision for a moment with conflicting thoughts rushing through her mind. She debates with herself on whether this is the life she wants or if this is the life society wants. When the church asks her if Gertrude has chosen to devote her life to God because of her own desire she causes while looking at her father.
After another inner battle with her emotions, Gertrude finally vows to become a nun. Later on in Gertrude life, she goes to live in a convent located in an Italian town called “Amazon”, thus taking on the name “The Nun of Amazon”. Here she spends her days praying during the day, but living a completely different life during the night. As time goes on she falls in love and develops a forbidden relationship with a man named Goodie whom she has a child with. In her daily fife at the Covent, Gertrude always shows signs of rebellion after having found love.

One example of her rebellious attitude is portrayed by a loose strand of hair falling from her veil. The strand of hair is a symbol of Gesture’s hate and disgust towards the church for having made her once free life a life filled with unhappiness and restrictions. The smiling child she once was becomes an angry and troubled soul after years of feeling like a prisoner of the church.

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