In “The Revolt of Mother,” written by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, along with the narrator, we can experience how human beings communicate. Time and setting are the most important definitions of a person’s life. A person cannot change the time he lives in. He lives in the present, the past, or the future. However, his place in location, he is able to choose himself. If a person lives in a city, on a farm, in the mountains, or by the ocean—this can define the nature of his daily activities and even his character. The heroes of this story lived nearly a century ago. They resided on a farm. This was a time when there weren’t a lot of modern accommodations. That’s why Mother and Father had to do everything themselves. Mother raised the children, milked the cow, and cooked the food, which she produced on her own farm. Father also had many responsibilities, such as tending to the animals and farming. They both worked a lot—completed their own given tasks. This separates them from each other, and at the same time, adds to their character.
To all his wife’s questions—what he’s doing, what he’s building—Father has one answer, “Ain’t got nothin’ to say about it.” The reader wonders why Father does not share his thoughts with his wife. Maybe he thinks that she is not able to understand the necessity of building another barn. His reticence and stubbornness pushes his wife away form him. She does not show her pain. She remembers his promise, forty years ago, to build a more spacious house for their family, when her daughter Nanny brings it up. “Mother, don’t you think it’s too bad father’s going to build that new barn, much as we need a decent house to live in?”
A woman, like any mother, loves her children. Furthermore, if the child is weak, the mother’s love for the child increases, with addition of compassion. “She’s got considerable color, but there wasn’t never any backbone to her. …she ain’t fit to keep house an’ do everything herself. She’ll be all worn out inside of a year.” She searches for, and finds, who to share her pain with—her husband. “I’m goin’ to talk real plain to you; I never have sence I married you, but I’m goin’ to now. I ain’t never complained an’ I ain’t goin’ to complain now, but I’m goin’ to talk plain.” Her character changes. She becomes more certain in her decision to change the way she lives, to make it better for her daughter’s sake. However, Father has the same comforting answer for her, “I ain’t got nothin’ to say.”
There are two opposing feelings inside her—the love for her husband and the compassion for her daughter. She...