Analysis Essay on “A Sorrowful Woman”

Analysis Essay on “A Sorrowful Woman”
Gail Godwin signifies that not all women want to be a full time wife and mother in her short story, “A Sorrowful Woman.” This idea of feminism helps the audience understand the poignant character and her actions.
Gail Godwin incorporates this epigraph, “There once was a wife and mother one too many times.”(1st Sent.) This quote at the beginning of her short story implies that the woman should not have been a wife or mother. Her unhappiness in (Para. 1) is based on how she was so sad and it made her sick to see her husband and son. She did not want to be a wife or mother so she tried new things. “She tried these personalities on like costumes, then discarded them.”(Para. 20) This shows how she could not pin-point her true identity; therefore, she tried new personalities, but none of them worked. (Critical Analysis of “A Sorrowful Woman”) When she picked up the pen and pad and attempted to write a poem (Para. 20). She failed to succeed. Because she wanted to be free, all the freedom she did have seemed overwhelming. The sorrowful woman sought to be independent. She moved into her little room and slowly but surely disconnects from her son and husband by not seeing them anymore. (“Critical Analysis of “A Sorrowful Woman”)
Because the sorrowful woman could not identify herself, her husband had to fulfill her roles. “I don’t know what to do, it’s all my fault, I’m such a burden.” (Para. 15) The husband, always understanding her feelings, hires a girl to manage the woman’s roles. The sorrowful woman felt inferior towards the help of the girl. The girl did all the roles the woman wished to achieve herself. On page 41 evidence shows in the passage that the girl painted her own room, raced the boy to the mailbox, made them all laugh, and many other things. This made the sorrowful woman upset, cited in paragraph 10. The woman could not ever achieve anything herself as the help did. Godwin displays in her story how the woman moved into the girl’s white bedroom (Para. 18). This shows how the woman thrived to do things her way. She was selfish in letting the husband execute everything for her and the son.
Godwin incorporates a great deal of symbolism in her short story. “The draught was a nightly thing,” (Page 40). This small piece of information cited in many places in the story, signifies that the sorrowful woman seems to be addicted to the draught. “She was a queen, a virgin in a tower,” (Page 42). The sorrowful woman was tired of being a mother and wife so she dreams of being free, locked up in a tower free of destruction and accountability. “Now the days were short. She was always busy. She worked till the sunset. No time for hair brushing. Her fingers raced the hours,” (Para. 34). This entire paragraph shows how the woman wanted to accomplish more than just brushing her hair. She wanted to be free from everything, but not without a farewell. So, she made an entire meal that could last the son and husband several days. Then she committed suicide.
Godwin’s short story implies that not all women want to be a wife and mother. Some want to be independent. They want to be free of sorrow.

By: Carley C.


Posted on December 17, 2012, in Essay. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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