- What is the audience’s journey and what can I take away from this journey?
To begin, we get an idea of what it was like for a girl, growing up in Galilee at this tumultuous time. Mary is saying that one may want to explore the bounds of tradition but to exceed them maybe impossible for one person. These lines are embedded in a society entrenched in tradition.
- What am I learning about humanity and what is the lesson I’m leaving with? Is it a relate-able coming of age story?
This question relates directly to the answer above. The lesson here is that for change to have a lasting effect, it must be undertaken by a large segment of society. Mary learns this while coming of age; she begins to see “both sides of the coin” as she interacts with her cousin, Rebekka.
- A love story/ a story where a woman sacrifices her wants for her needs?
This is certainly one aspect of the story as described above.
- Is it a story of a woman oppressed by society who wants nothing more than to rebel and flip things on end?
No, although Jewish society at her time wais oppressed by tradition, she was not attempting to flip things on end. After Joachim’s arrest, she begins to see the value of a male in the household. She still feels that she doesn’t want to be dependent totally on that male. Her role models are her mother, a weaver, and her aunt Ruth, a midwife and healer, who, she thinks, could be able to generate income. She examines her own abilities and realizes she could provide some income as an animal healer.
- Is it a story about rebelling against tyranny and fighting for what’s right even when it’s hard (Mary’s fathers story)?
Joachim’s influence on Mary becomes visible as she begins to rebel. This entire story of rebellion is a backdrop for the future life of Jesus, Mary’s son.