Although I very much enjoyed reading Le Fresne, I saw the interchanging of Fresne and Codre as surprising and offensive given the knights past adoration for Fresne. He fell in love with Fresne by merely hearing about her beauty and noble character, donated much of his land to the abbey and completely changed his lifestyle to be with her. He brought her back to his castle where everyone regarded her highly, but when his vassals warned him that if he should have a child out of wedlock they would desert him, he drops all allegiance to Fresne and readily agrees to marry a stranger. Though his feelings for Fresne were once important to him, the sanctification of a noble marriage to qualify his own status becomes more important.
In this way, marriage to a woman in the right class is objectified and becomes a pivotal “thing” in the story of Le Fresne. Despite her obvious noble behavior and stoicism in the face of heartbreak, the right marriage leading to noble social status and acceptance, would have led to the downfall of Fresne if the mother had not recognized her as her own daughter. We have talked about “everything” being an active “thing”, not only objects. In this story, it was interesting to think of something like marriage, a non-material “thing”, having such a large role in the characters lives and decisions. Even when Fresne is recognized and Codre and the knights marriage is annuled, the story is said to have a happy ending because Codre found a good marriage, and therefore everyone get’s what they need: Marriage to “the right person”.