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Complete paper on Analyzing the author’s style in The Revolt of Mother by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

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Analyzing the authors style in The Revolt of Mother by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Mary Wilkins Freeman is best known for her writing about the rural life and lifestyle of
its natives. The revolt of Mother was first published as an article in Harpers Bazaar in 1890 and
then became the second short story by Freeman towards the end of the nineteenth century. As
much as Freeman emphasizes on the rural life in her writing, The Revolt of Mother takes a
complete turn and goes straight into the women’s life and their oppression and treatment as lesser
human beings than the men. This mood is seen in Freeman’s later writing during this period.
Sarah portrays the woman living in America during the end of the nineteenth century. In
this era women were practically subservient to their men especially if one was married. Sarah and
her husband had been married for forty years and yes that’s a very long time but there was
something about the way things were done around Sarah, her husband and their daughter Nanny
and son Sammy that strikes the mind of Freeman.
It does not make sense that Sarah, the Mother, should wait for forty long years and more
for a promise from her husband of a house that could accommodate them and their needs. For all
this while Sarah had been the devoted mother and wife who ensured that all the needs of the

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husband had been met, she had been the submissive wife. It is here that Sarah feels compelled to
change the status quo against women as it stands without challenging the male dominion.
The story is cited in early spring, there is digging going on at an adjacent field and a
conversation springs up between Sarah and Adoniram, the husband, about building a barn at the
same place the new house was to be built. As if it is not a big issue Sarah takes the husbands
refusal to discuss the issue as the only way to end the discussion.
Sarah’s weakness and to women in generally is portrayed in her description, a mild
forehead and gray hair. This paints a picture of being too weak to defend herself from the
oppression she is going through. Freeman refers to Sarah as ‘Mother to represent the women or
female race in general. Women’s submissive nature is brought up when Sarah drops the
discussion about building a barn when the husband asks her to.
Adoniram’s refusal to discuss building a barn where the new house was supposed to be
built reflects the stand the male race takes about women having no say in matters, and worse in
this case because houses are a women’s palace. He disrespects her wife by not answering her
question and refusing to converse with her about his plans. A woman like a child would expect to
be giving reason; if we cannot build a house there then what will we do with the land? That is
why Sarah asks about the building of a barn while there has not been a new house for forty years.
There is an instance when Sammy stands up before his mother to protect he from any
confrontations with his father when they move to the barn, and Sammy’s eagerness for his father
to find out about that her mother Sarah had moved to the barn shows the new era, the different
men and their different ways of treating the women. It is a form of dramatic irony by Freeman.

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