The Revolt of a Mother

Topics: Woman, Feminism, Short story Pages: 4 (1566 words) Published: December 14, 2005
Written analysis of the short story "The Revolt of ‘Mother' "

Shirlley Padia Lopes

This work will treat about the short story "The Revolt of Mother", written by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman and it will be based on the feminist criticism. By this criticism, this short story from Freeman is a kind of innovation in literature made by women. Feminist Criticism has been developed with the rising of the feminist movement in sixties, and particularly in literature, since the publication, in the United States, of the doctoral thesis "Sexual Politics" by Kate Millet, in 1970. This slope of the literary criticism has been questioning the patriarchal academic practice. In the short story "The Revolt of Mother" we can identify the feminist thought of its author. She wasn't perpetuating the patriarchal way of making literature. By this thought, women were/are just allegories, they were/are: erotic characters, by their physical beauty; the mad woman; the incompetent; the fragile; that one who sacrifices herself for the other, like Antigone, Oedipus daughter, in Oedipus at Colonus play, by Sophocles. Freeman shows us a protagonist who discovers her potential as citizen, someone who rebels against the Society and Church moral rules to guarantee her happiness and her children's. The author focuses on the plight of women whose lives are bounded by poverty and the social constraints imposed on them by their strict religious beliefs and their position as women. The focus given by freeman is related with her own plight in the past, when she wasn't a recognized writer. She was a young woman, humiliated by the condition of poverty that was suffering her family. What obligated her to live in a reverend's home, where her mother was working as housekeeper. The big trouble was that she had been in love for a long time with reverend's son, who didn't love her. That situation of her life can be the responsible for the improvement of her thought about the women's position. "The...

Bibliography: BONNICI, Thomas. Short Stories: An Antology for Undergraduates. Universidade Estadual de Maringá. Departamento de Letras: Maringá, 2004.
BONNICI, Thomas & ZOLIN, Lucia Osana (org.). Teoria Literária: abordagens históricas e tendências contemporâneas. EDUEM: Maringá, 2003.
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