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Patience Is A Virtue Essay

926 words - 4 pages

Imagine you find yourself contemplating the deadline of a promise made to you by your closest loved one. How would you feel if the promise was to be fulfilled nearly four decades ago? Would you have even waited? Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's “The Revolt of Mother” illustrates a devoted, yet strong-minded housewife who takes the initiative to hold her husband accountable to his word, how her actions positively influence her children, and how it inevitably alters the nature of her marriage.
Sarah Penn is an ideal housewife who, despite her husband’s hidden agendas, manages to make Adoniram’s disregarded promise a reality for her family. Adoniram knows he is in the wrong but feels his choice to increase the success of his business is more important than keeping a promise already forty years on the wayside. McElrath Jr. suggests that although Sarah “attempts to resign herself to the situation in dutiful, housewifely fashion, […] her behavior bristles with suppressed rage” in response to Adoniram’s stubbornly stoic and unyielding attitude (McElrath Jr. 258). After Nanny unwittingly plants the seedling of thought, of Sarah tolerantly waits “all through the spring months” listening to the sounds of construction in silence, biding for an opportunity to present itself (Freeman). Sarah fulfills Adoniram’s promise for him by moving the family into the barn. He accepts her actions because he is not without a conscious and knows it is his duty in turn. Sarah’s docile determination inspires Adoniram: “I hadn't no idee you was so set on't as all this comes to” (Freeman). At her request, he agrees to all the modifications to make the barn a suitable home, and redeems himself by doing so. Adoniram takes accountability for his word and sets an example that positively influences their children.
Sarah’s boldness is a valuable lesson for Sammy and Nanny that sparks a change in their behaviors. The narrator speaks of “an inborn confidence” that arises in their children when they stand in support beside their mother (Freeman). Sammy was once an apprentice to Adoniram’s attitude and could have been lost to the same selfish and inflexible disposition: “Sammy only grunted […]; he had learned it from his father” (Freeman). His mother’s bravery was the example he needed to find his own mind and shed the negative influence of his father’s manner. Sammy likewise “bravely” proclaims their intent to live in the barn (Freeman). He asserts himself and vicariously strengthens their impression on Adoniram with the implication of a united stand. “Full of nervous tremors,” Nanny keeps behind her mother, but the overtone of “pleasant excitement” eclipses any fear (Freeman). Sarah also sheds her subservient exterior: “her eyes showed the spirit that her meek front had covered for a lifetime” (Freeman)....

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