"Unsolicited opportunities are the guide-posts of the Lord to the new roads of life." This quote from Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's "The Revolt Of 'Mother"' exemplifies the independent and rebellious spirit of the main character, Sarah Penn. Because Sarah Penn's behavior is unorthodox for a woman of the nineteenth century, the author constantly compared her to similar historical figures.
When Mrs. Penn is baking her husband's favorite mince pies, we become aware of the first historical relationship. The author described her face as "full of meek vigor which might have characterized one of the New Testament saints." The author continues to express that "however deep a resentment she might be forced to hold against her husband, she would never fail in sedulous attention to his wants." These statements show that Sarah is as loyal, passive, and loving as a pious saint. The comparison also points out her forgiving nature which allows her to be loving and cooperative with her husband despite any differences they may have.
The second reference to a historical figure comes when Sarah calls to Adoniram, her husband, to stop his work and speak with her. When he repeatedly refuses to talk with her, she exclaims, "Father, you come here," in a voice which booms with authority. Even her stance is as regal as her inflections, for she stands in the doorway holding her head as if she were wearing a crown. Despite her original intentions, this dignified behavior doesn't last long. As she is expressing her feelings about her husband's new barn, her stance turns to that of a humble woman from Scripture. This sudden change in behavior represents her volatil...
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...the man's world, she continues to do her feminine, domestic chores and tries her best to make Adoniram happy. This proves that she has fought the battle and was now ready to make peace. However, the peace making has to be on Adoniram's part. After Adoniram finds out about his wife's defiance, he goes out into the twilight and looks out over the fields. By observing nature, Adoniram is acknowledging the power and beauty of women, which enables him to decide to put up the partitions to make a more suitable house for Sarah. By respecting the feelings and opinions of his wife, he unites the woman's home and man's technology, and in a sense makes peace between man and woman in the battle of the sexes.
Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins. "The Revolt of 'Mother.'" Responding to Literature. Ed. Judith A. Stanford. Mountain View: Mayfield, 1996. 555-567.
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