The Revolt Of Mother Analysis

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Mary Wilkins Freeman’s short story, “The Revolt of Mother” was ahead of its’ time in many ways, but it was also an important story in the growth of American feminism and an important representation of how women were depicted in nineteenth century literature. Written in 1891, twenty-nine years before women were given the right to vote in America, Freeman wove a tale that showcased the true power of the domestic woman. As stated by Valerie Sanders in the abstract for her paper, “Feminism and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century”, “Literature, above all, was a place where women could explore the intimate details of their emotions and social interactions, imagining new relationships and life choices, while also protesting against the injustices…show more content…
Once Sarah realizes that her husband is building a barn, her son Sammy admits that he had also known about the barn for three months. He just “’didn’t think ‘twould do no good.’” (Freeman 650) Whether intentional or not, the father had taught Sammy to think that men could make decisions without consulting their partners and that it was actually better to hide the barn instead of facing the issue. If men had the ability to do things, simply because they were men, why not just do the easy thing and avoid any conversation about it? It was an understandable mindset for Sammy to take on, but it was already leading to a horrible treatment of women as he clearly could not even respect his own mother. But while Father pushes ideals of toxic masculinity onto his son, Mother also pushed similar ideals on their daughter Nanny. When speaking with her daughter about how she felt about her husband’s decision to build a barn instead of a home, she seems to push the thought that women are nothing without men. She tells Nanny, “One of these days you’ll find out, an’ then you’ll know that we know only what men-folks think we do.” (Freeman 651) They go on to speak of how Adoniram treats the two of them, they realize that they are lucky that he does not force them to work and by most standards, they live good lives. But Nanny is marrying soon and though she has high hopes for how her husband will treat her, Sarah doesn’t seem to have high hopes. Aside from wanting her to be married in their house, preferably a nice house, and though it is never explicitly stated, it seems as though Sarah realizes that she has to set an example for her daughter and prove that women are more than what men define them to

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