Kempe’s spiritual journey seemed to be a troublesome one as she struggles with being a committed saint. One thing I question is the reference to Kempe as a creature. Was that how she referred to herself or had the scribe chosen that terminology to describe her.
Unlike Julian of Norwich, Kempe lead a troublesome life as she internally struggle to live righteously, all the while going back and forth between sinner and saint until she made a vow. Even then she gave in to temptation. Weather Julian experience this constant struggle is not revealed but according to her text she made a vow and kept to it.
Kempe represents the everyday person who may desire to live righteously but gives in to temptation as quickly as it comes. She outwardly reflects the internal battle many of us have to do the right thing or do what makes us happy for the time. In this, Kempe ‘s behavior is more realistic to me than Julian. Not to say Julian’s is not believable, just that it takes a great deal of will power that the average person does not posses.
Kempe’s peace in the midst of chaos and slander is remarkable and proves her to be changed in her ways. She was previously reckless in her comments to her loved ones but becomes calm, patient, and wise in her response to her enemies.
You mention the use of “creature” throughout the text, which was something that struck me as well. At first, it seemed like more antics from Kempe. However, the more I considered it, the more it made sense as an act of humility and devotion to Christ. Kempe puts Christ and his will above all. So much so that her own identity is attached to the fact that she is his creation. Her name and individuality seems less important than God’s will, and the use of “creature” illustrates just how serious she was about putting Christ first. So I would think it was her doing, not a scribe’s.
You’re reading “creature” carefully through Margery’s larger aims and concerns in the book, Ethan–and provide a compelling observation as a result. And I like, L’Kai, how you note that Margery offers a model that is more achievable for most people of her day, in contrast to Julian’s total (and it seems successful) devotion.