Susan Minot's A Sorrowful Woman

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About 40 or so years ago, women in America did not have as much freedom and social acceptance to the few freedoms they did have as they do today. During that era, women were seen as delicate creatures that needed a man to live their life well. There were also many stereotypes that society had placed on women of that era. Women were expected to be submissive and allow their husband to make her decisions. They were also expected to become wives, mothers, and caretakers. Susan Minot and Gail Godwin grew up during this era and based a plethora of their work on the subject. They both are Feminist authors who explore the trials and ordeals of women of their time. Minot went to a similar school as the one mentioned in “Lust.” This experience gave…show more content…
Because of her dislike of her role as a housewife and caretaker, she tries to take on other roles. However, none of these work out for her and she starts to feel helpless. Even though the woman’s husband is ideal, she still feels miserable because she strongly dislikes the role she has played throughout her life. Throughout the story, she details how she wishes she could be free and how nice it would be not to live the life she is living. Many of the people in the story are symbolic. For example, in one part of the story, there was an energetic nanny who came to baby-sit her son; the nanny is what a typical woman would be, a cleaner, a cooker, a caretaker. However soon after, the protagonist told her husband that she did not like her and they fired the nanny. This could symbolize how the protagonist rejects that lifestyle and how much she despises it. The story climaxes when she ultimately kills herself because she could not find a role that she liked, making her feel alone and isolated from everyone; she also could no longer withstand the life she never wanted to live. The stories could also be compared using the types of literary conflicts. In “Lust,” man vs man is evident because the protagonist is in conflicts with herself because she acts like a man but thinks like a woman. Man vs society also plays a part in the story. Society thinks of women as innocent and faithful. In “Lust” we see none of that, instead we see the opposite of it. We see a woman acting like what a typical man would act like. In “A Sorrowful Woman,” the same two conflicts appear in the story. The protagonist is in conflict with herself because she is disgusted by what she has become; she did not want to become a mother or wife. Society from that time stereotypes woman as lesser beings that are at the mercy of men and the protagonist disliked that idea. Both of

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