Calling and Charisma: The Life of Joan of Arc

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Calling and Charisma: The Life and Mission of Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc overcame incredible challenges in the name of God and her country. Her military prowess both frustrated the English and endeared her to the French people. Although the accomplishments of Joan are well documented, the truth behind her success and her motivations for leaving home remain a mystery to this day. Joan claimed that she was called by God to free her country, but some doubted the truth of her statement. It is difficult to determine Joan’s true motivations for becoming a soldier, but regardless of her motives, she was an important factor in France’s fight for freedom and the story of her life and death made her one of the most interesting warriors in medieval history.
Joan of Arc was born in the village of Domremy, France, around the year 1412 (Taylor 1-2). Even from an early age, it was obvious that Joan was an unusual child. Although she helped her family with the daily chores, such as spinning, sewing, and field work (8), she spent her play time in a curious way. When she was not working at home, she was often at the church; in fact, Joan loved attending church so much that she often spent more time at church than she did playing with children her own age (14). Despite her obvious piety, Joan was very headstrong and occasionally deceptive. For example, she sometimes lied to her parents about her whereabouts so she could attend church more often (15). Joan’s fiery attitude and religious devotion later proved to be important factors in her development as a leader in France’s fight for freedom.
Joan was always surrounded by warfare, even as a child. Domremy was caught in a seemingly endless string of skirmishes and raids (Taylor 2), but in the late 14...

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...dual interpretation. Yet despite the uncertainty of Joan’s reasons for fighting, the fact remains that Joan believed in the justness of her cause, and her faith and bravery made her into a legendary warrior who is revered even today as one of France’s most famous and beloved heroes.

“Medieval Sourcebook: Joan of Arc: Letter to the King of England, 1429.” Trans. Belle Tuten. Fordham University, 4 Nov. 2011. Web. 7 April. 2014.
Edgar, Robert R., et al. “Chapter Fifteen.” Civilizations Past and Present. 12th ed. Ed. Janet Lanphier, et al. Vol. 1. New York: Pearson, 2008. Print.
Keifer, James. “Joan of Arc, Visionary.” Rowan University. Rowan University, n.d. Web. 8 April. 2014.
Taylor, Larissa Juliet. Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. E-book.
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