“The Revolt of ‘Mother’ by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman through the depiction of its protagonist Sarah, illustrates the evolution of the female character from servitude in the family to that of a Powerful person with the wishes of the Lord, commanding even her husband.
At the end of the story, the powerful husband has turned into a mere old man obeying the commands of Sarah. (“The Revolt of ‘Mother’ by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, geocities. com).
At the beginning of the story the husband, Adoniram Penn tries to avoid answering the question by Sarah Penn, regarding the digging being carried out by men in a nearby field. Look here, father, I want to know what the men are diggin’ over in the field for, an’ I’m goin’ to know. “But Adoniram replies “I wish you’d go into the house, mother, an’ ‘tend to your own affairs,”(“The Revolt of ‘Mother’ by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, geocities.
com). This conversation between Sarah and her husband shows the lack of transparency, and it is the indication of the servitude of the wife in the family. Actually they were digging for building a cellar for a new barn. But they were planning to build their new house at that same place.
studyguide-revoltmother, bookrags. com). The wedding of their daughter Nanny was nearing. Nanny is busy with her embroidery work and Sarah was preparing the favorite dishes of her husband without letting her resentments against her husband to overpower her.
The entire family waits the father to come back from work, for the food. Before leaving the town on immediate requirement, the father instructs his son Sammy to put the cows into the new barn. Mother prepares packed lunch for the father and arranges everything for his comfortable Journey. ( etext.
virginia. edu) .When the hay cart reached in the morning and was about to unload in the new barn, Sarah Penn responded in such a way that her intervention surprises every body. She discloses her plan o her children, Nanny and Sammy that they e going to shift to the new barn and accordingly she instructs them to pick up all their belongings.
When the father comes back from his trip the children waits anxiously, worrying about his reaction. But Sarah continues with her work as a routine. Sarah, the mother in the story “The Revolt of ‘Mother” is revolting against the oppression and servitude which she experiences at her home from her husband.Her questions are not responded by her husband.
The process of building the cellar at the place intended for building their house was never conveyed to her. In such an atmosphere the suffocation of life is experienced by Sarah, and when her husband goes out of the town, Sarah intervenes constructively and in a revolutionary way by shifting her residence to the barn. It is important to note that this decision and action were taken against the will and knowledge of her husband. “A new England Nun” by Mary E.
Wilkins Freeman depicts the story of a powerful woman Louisa Ellis.She is living alone in her house, which is kept meticulously clean. She is projected sometimes as a little bit of eccentric with her habits of multiple aprons and her eating styles. “Louisa was slow and still in her movements; it took her a long time to prepare her tea; but when ready it was set forth with as much grace as if she bad been a veritable guest to her own self”.
(“A new England Nun” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, wsu. edu). Through these lines the author depicts the self oriented and lonely life if Louisa.
She keeps her old dog always chained up, because it bit a neighbor, fourteen years ago when it was a puppy.Joe Dagget was her lover and fifteen years ago she promised him that she would marry him on his return from Australia. Now Dagget is back and it is time for them to fulfill their promise. But it is interesting to note that Louisa has become accustomed with her lonely life and the presence Joe Dagget becomes a disruption to her life.
“Still she had always looked forward to his return and their marriage as the inevitable conclusion of things” (“A new England Nun” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, wsu. edu). On the other hand Joe Dagget is in love with Lily Dyer, who is nursing Joe’s old mother.
Louisa overhears the conversation between Joe and Lily. Accordingly she expresses her willingness to release Dagget from the burden of their promise, so that Dagget can marry Lily Dyer. Even after knowing in detail about the relationship between Dagget and Lily Dyer, Louisa is able to handle the issue diplomatically without mentioning about Lily, she conveys to Dagget that “she had no cause of complaint against him, she had lived so long in one way that she shrank from making a change” (“A new England Nun” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, wsu.
edu).In the story of “A New England Nun”, the protagonist Louisa Ellis is leading a lonely life, but at the same time, she is happy and comfortable with her freedom and individuality. The promise that she made to Dagget regarding their marriage was only her worry when Dagget joined her on his return. When she comes to know about Lily’s love towards Dagget, she diplomatically handles the issue and part with Dagget.
After recovering from the emotional impact of that unexpected parting, the next morning Louisa was able to wake up happily to start her job of cleaning her house and surroundings, followed by her meticulous routines.Through this story of Louisa, Freeman is depicting the courage, integrity, and privation of women, and thereby illustrating the scholarly skill in projecting feminist arguments. (A new England Nun and other stories, books. google.
co. in). As a conclusion it can be said that the protagonists, of both the stories “A New England Nun”, and “The Revolt of ‘Mother’ by Freeman, are projected as successful female characters with their own individuality, courage, and practical approach to life. Both Louisa of “A New England Nun”, and Sarah of “The Revolt of ‘Mother’ can be described as women of victory.