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The Demise Of A Family In Gail Godwin's A Sorrowful Woman

875 words - 4 pages

The Demise of a Family in Gail Godwin's A Sorrowful Woman

Gail Godwin's "A Sorrowful Woman&lt" leads one to believe that the wife is overwhelmed or possibly just having a bad day. The belief is that with her husband's understanding she and her family will get through this difficult time. Everyone has a bad day and people get aggravated at times. However, a shocking revelation comes to the reader that this isn't just a bad day. A deeper look into the story reveals that the wife's selfishness and pity for her life is fueling her sorrow and along with their lack of communication causes the demise of this family.

In reading this story we find a woman tired of being a mother, a wife and of her life in general. "The sight of them made her so sad and sick she did not want to ever see them again" (35). Do you not see what she is thinking? They are sucking the life out of me. Why did I choose to get married? I could have been anything, instead I am the mother of this child and the wife of this man and am here to take care of their needs. Who will take care of my needs? She feels that she is some how letting herself ease away and needs to regain her identity. She soon isolates herself even more by moving into another room maybe thinking she will be able to find the part of herself she has lost. "She was a young queen, a virgin in a tower, she was the previous inhabitant, the girl with all the energies. She tried these personalities on like costumes" (38).

Her husband's constant saying he understands such things only seems to enable her to isolate herself more and ignore her responsibilities as a mother. If the tending to the child is such a pleasure why hasn't he done it enough to know how to put him to bed or what book to read? It almost sounds patronizing on his part as it won't stress him out to take care of things. It sounds patronizing of her telling him how to put their child to bed. His understanding of such things does not detour him from "dozing after her good super"(35) while she puts the dishes away. His understanding of such things doesn't seem to enlighten him that maybe his wife is in need of more help than just his being "big enough to contain what ever she must do" (38). Him allowing her to stop seeing their son is...

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