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A Sorrowful Woman And A Secret Sorrow

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Comparing two pieces of literature is often not recommended because no piece is like another, so comparing them would be like comparing yourself to another person. However, in some cases, comparing literature can help us to understand pieces of the stories we may have overlooked in the original reading. This is the case in “A Sorrowful Woman” by Gail Goodwin and A Secret Sorrow by Karen van der Zee. These pieces have similarities and differences and by studying these it will better help us to understand each story as an individual work. While comparing the works one may come to the conclusion that “A Sorrowful Woman” is a more realistic tale than the fantasies found in A Secret Sorrow. In order to determine that Godwin’s story is more sensible…show more content…
Both of the stories start in a rather depressing manner. In A Secret Sorrow we begin with Faye as she recalls she “...could feel the blood drain from her face and for one horrifying moment she thought she was going to faint right in Kai’s arms” (van der Zee 30). Immediately we paint a picture in our heads of a frail woman in distress and this ties in feelings of sadness and pain. In “A Sorrowful Woman” we begin with a haunting epigraph that reads “Once upon a time there was a wife and mother one too many times” (Godwin 38). From this one can deduct a hint of foreshadowing at the horrors that are to follow, and he or she can only imagine the suffering and heartache that is to come. Another similarities of the plotlines can be found in the fact that both plots are centered around the development of a family, however, this is where the similarities cease. The plotlines now make abrupt turns that lead the reader to very different endings. A Secret Sorrow follows a strict fairy tale plotline. Kai and Faye fall in love but there is an obstacle in the way of them living happily ever after. Of course pure love trumps all and in the end they acquired the family they always desired and become happier than ever. “A Sorrowful Woman” takes a deeper and darker twist which can be viewed as more accurate to reality. The reader follows along a trail of despair and neglect while learning more of the exceedingly sick Mother. The ending of the tales reveals to the reader yet another difference. In Van der Zee’s story the ending is overwhelmingly happy and lighthearted and signifies an end to an overall inspiring story. In contrast, in the end of Godwin’s very different story Mother dies and while this seems like an upsetting conclusion the reader must circumpass the anguish to find the true meaning. In the very last line of “A Sorrowful Woman” The child questions “Can we eat the turkey for supper” (Godwin 42). The child's mother has
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