In present time, women have obtained more freedom to express their thoughts and more privileges to achieve their goals. Their social status had a qualitative leap in the United States compare with the last couple of centuries; this subversion will continue lead women to enter a world which their talent and ability can be completely recognized. Different from today’s value, women who lived in previous centuries do not have the rights to do things the way they prefer. Social morality and family obligation force them to obey others and renounce independent.
This inveterate principle stifled generations of women and their freedom. Both works include The Revolt of “Mother” and A New England Nun by Mary Wilkins Freeman showcased that in order for a woman to regain the pleasures in her life, she has to be intrepid and determined under certain social pressure. By descripting both characters Louisa and Sarah’s detailed inner world such as their characteristics and other social aspects such as other’s judgments, Mary Freeman provided the reader with vivid sense of equality that led the society into deep consideration and introspection of why feminism is necessary. Bothworksservedasimilarpurpose,tospreadtheconceptoffeminism,but with different approaches due to different social status of both characters in The Revolt of “Mother” and A New England Nun.
Mary Freeman’s Puritan way of living had a huge impact on how she considers the world differently. In The Revolt of “Mother”, Mary Freeman portrayed a married woman, Sarah Peen, who has been serving for the 1 Sun family for forty years without any complain, had an emotional outburst about the new farm that her husband was building. Her husband, Adoniram, promised Sarah that he would build her a house when they are financially improved. Instead of building her the dream house, he planed to build another farm without informing her. She then decided to move into the new barn to live when her husband had gone out. (Freeman)
In Freeman’s other work, A New England Nun, she depicted Louisa Ellis, a woman who waited for her fiancé’s returning from Australia for fifteen years, had decided to end the relationship with him after she hears that he has no love to her. (Freeman) This may be an excuse for her to escape from the relationship that will eventually force her to ingratiate others and put her own needs second. However, Louisa made up her own mind and went the way she preferred. By observing the behaviors of these two characters, it is certain that both of them have their own belief and rule of life that is beyond reach. Sarah Peen wants changes in her life, changes that can overturn her current life. As the story begins, Sarah provides service for her family everyday hoping to move into a new house like her husband promised her to.
(Freeman 666) Moreover, She is a woman with ideas and goals. Freeman writes, “ ‘There ain’t no use talkin’, Mr. Hersey,’ says she. ‘ I’ve thought it all over an’ over, an’ I believe I’m doin’ what’s right. I’ve made it the subject of prayer, an’ it’s betwixt me an’ the Lord an’ Adoniram. There ain’t no call for nobody else to worry about it.’” (670) This is what Sarah replied to the minister when he came to convince Sarah not to disobey her husband. After 2 Sun forty years of waiting, Sarah decides that she is strong enough to take a stand for the change. She is surprisingly independent and rebellious. Her rebellion does not only exist for against her husband, but also for against the social role that she is suppose to play as a submissive wife.
Even though she accepts her responsibilities as a wife and a mother, her determination and resistance to the power of tradition was never stifled. As a wife whose husband often ignores, she opposes her husband’s male dominance over hers and remains integrity, courage, and privation overall. However, Louisa Ellis from A New England Nun had an opposite lifestyle with Sarah has but the same perception of individualism. LouisaEllis,unlikeSarah,isafraidofchangesandunknowns,butshestill forwards her life regarding what others would think. Her engagement with Joe Dagget is full of uncertain. Freeman did not deliver Louisa’s remorse of engagement directly. Instead, she implied some details to inform her readers that Louisa is satisfied with her own life by enlarging her trivial acts such as using china.
Freeman writes, “Louisa used china everyday – something which none of her neighbors did. They whispered about it among themselves.” (654) This indicates that Louisa lives her own quiet life and enjoys her own pleasure. All of sudden, Joe Dagget shattered Louisa’s peace, the peace that only belongs to her. Freeman writes, “He remained about an hour longer, then rose to take leave. Going out, he stumbled over a rug, and trying to recover himself, hit Louisa’s work-basket on the table, and knocked it on the floor.” (654) All his acts reminded Louisa that she has to put herself at second after their marriage and 3 Sun renounce her independent. She then realized that she wants to be who she is, not to be a wife of a man who she has less love with. She is mainly descripted as a dainty and methodical woman; she pays most of her attention to details and perfections.
Therefore, after she overheard that Joe has no love to her either, she quickly made her decision that she is not going to marry Joe because she desires for remaining alone. (Freeman 661) Even though both Sarah and Louisa have similar lives, they have different characteristics. Both women have comparable lives. Louisa and Sarah both reside at rural area where men do most of the working, and women do most of the housework. (Freeman 654, 662) This is one of the reasons why both characters chose to make astonishing decisions of their own. Initially, they must identify themselves, and then make decisions regarding tradition that has been persisted for centuries. Both women are also conflicted with men in a relationship that lasted a long period of time. Louisa waited her fiancé for fifteen years while Sarah waited forty years to move forward of her life.
Eventually, they both have achieved their goals and won the victories. However, in A New England Nun, the social influence is less conscious. There is less portrayal of judgments made by other members in the society. Instead, Freeman inserted implicit approach such as Louisa’s pet, Caesar, to display how the community would tie her up in a promise of engagement. (Freeman658) Different from Louisa, the community that Sarah lived in for forty years does not allow her to determine her own life. Her husband and son ignore her by not answering her questions; the minister 4 Sun came to her house to criticize her “inappropriate” conduct; people in her community also talks about her rebellion against her husband. Freeman displayed how they treat Sarah like a woman who should not have equal rights and dignity with a straightforward picture.
Consequently, the two characters Sarah Peen and Louisa Ellis in both Freeman’s work The Revolt of “Mother and A New England Nun overcame dilemmas effectively. Both stories are relevant to the concept of feminism, which is equal justice between both sexes. The endings are similar: Sarah moved to the new barn while Louisa lived her own stilled life. Their encounters influenced and united generations of women to go forward together and break rules and instructions in order to live in freedom. Works Cited Freeman, Mary. A New England Nun. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Gen. ed. Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. C. New York: Norton, 2013. 653-661. Print Freeman, Mary. The Revolt of “Mother”. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Gen. ed. Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. C. New York: Norton, 2013. 662- 672. Print 5
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