Gotthelf Jeremias – Rychiswyl’s Broom Merchant
Gotthelf Jeremias – Rychiswyl’s Broom Merchant: Gotthelf tells us about Jeannot’s simple, hard-working life: having lost his father early, he becomes a manufacturer and a broom seller. One day, on his way to the Bern market, he meets a young girl, to whom he renders a service. She offers him, in return, to help him pull his cart. Jeannot, seeing the help she gives him from week to week, asks her to marry him. She is certainly neither pretty nor wealthy, but “hard at work”, and will give her many children.
The end of the story is very moral: the business flourishes and it turns out that Jeannot inherits a large sum. However, he continues to work hard – owner of land and animals, he becomes a farmer, to walk alongside his wife and to raise his children in the respect of God. The tradition is respected.
Jeremias Gotthelf is Albert Bitzius, a pastor of the early 19th century writer and journalist. Deeply religious and conservative, he praises traditional and rural values in the face of the changes of his time (industrialization, capitalism, the working class, democratization). His profound knowledge of the peasant society in which he grew up and which he describes in a fine, authentic way, has enabled him to write novels which, beyond the provincial framework of the campaign of the canton of Bern, are deeply human. .