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From the short story, “The Revolt of Mother,’’ by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, society in the late nineteenth century expected women to keep house, cook, bear and rear children. The male represents the authority in the family and society and the female represents the domesticity, the gentleness and the loyalty to the husband.
The woman depicted.
Adoniram Penn represents the male dominance over the female. His ideas represent the typical role of a man of the 19th century, a man who is occupied by the work and who believes he does not have to explain everything he makes to his wife, who is supposed to attend to the home tasks and not to question what the husband makes. Where Sarah asks him what a few men are doing in the yard and he answers her: “I wish you’d go into the house, mother, and tend to your own affairs.” Sarah finds out that Adoniram is going to build a new barn instead of the new house he had promised: “A barn? You ain’t goin’ to build a barn over there where we was goin’ to have a house, father?” For him, his livestock has more worth than his own family. She claims the need of having a decent house to live in. Sarah, a woman who has been married to her husband for over forty years, sheepishly asking him to use the time, money, and energy that he is using to build.............
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