Symbolism In A Sorrowful Woman

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Gail Godwin’s protagonist in “A Sorrowful Woman“ is a classic example of a short fiction protagonist based on Edgar Allen Poe’s quantifications. One of these quantifications includes being set apart from the social norms of their society because of some physical, emotional, or mental attribute/disability. Another quantification is often that the protagonist is very much an anti-hero. In the story “A Sorrowful Woman,“ the unnamed wife embodies the traits of an outsider because she does not like taking care of her household. Also, she is an anti-hero because she locks herself up in the white room. In the story “A Sorrowful Woman,” the young mother and wife show the traits of an outsider. An outsider is a person who does not belong to a particular group. The wife shows she is an outsider by being unable to take care of her household. She is sickened by the sight of her husband and child. One may see…show more content…
An anti-hero is a protagonist who has the opposite of most of the traditional attributes of a hero. The mother is being an anti-hero because she “moves herself into the girl’s white room” and a hero would react differently (Godwin 41). A typical mother would not withdraw herself from her family. The lady’s husband has to take care of her by “undressing her” (Godwin 39). This can be further seen in Rosefeldt’s article,” this trap or mystique is what the story’s protagonist is fighting against, but she sees no alternatives, nor can she define or clearly express her problem. The sorrowful woman represents a type of woman who was not meant to be defined as a wife and mother and who finds herself trapped with no options”(Rosefeldt). The husband hires a nanny and the mother fires her just because she does not like her.(Godwin 41) Eventually, the mother retreats to her room, and the only communication with her and her family is sliding notes under the door. These actions show that the mother is an
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