A Sorrowful Woman
Precious J Head
July 15 2012
Critical Analysis of “A Sorrowful Woman”
I have chosen to do my critical analysis about Gail Goodwin’s short story of “A Sorrowful Woman”. Throughout this paper I will attempt to breakdown and explain the plot of this story, how the story unfolds from the point of view of Goodwin’s unnamed wife, and the development of the husband’s character as the story is told.
From what I can gather from the story as I read through it; the plot is about the gradual progression of the unnamed spouse and mother’s deteriorating emotional well-being. In the story the wife’s life generally revolves around her family and eventually becomes over-whelmed. Gail Goodman’s wife then starts to withdraw from her family until they are completely shut out of her life. Although the wife in the story does have a child it is highly unlikely that the wife would be suffering from any post-partum stress associated with child birth; as the child in the story during the events is already a toddler. Gail Goodman’s wife is unhappy with her current role as a housewife and seeks to explore different roles, but has a hard time coping when faced with making more engaging decisions when they are presented to her. In the story the wife is the protagonist, and the antagonist in some ways can be described as her family, because they are the source of her frustrations. As the story develops rather than recovering, the wife tends to progressively get worse; regardless of any efforts by her husband to help her. With all the events that unfold in the story it becomes easy to see that the wife’s actions is a clear dissatisfaction of her role and a willingness to fulfill her duties. Towards the end of the story it Head 2
would appear that the wife has recovered from her illness, but instead the opposite remains true; as she prefers to have no interaction with anyone in her family. Just as important as the plot to...