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A Sorrowful Woman

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Gail Godwin beckons a woman to know herself as a woman and not as mere in a relation to other in her much thought provoking story, “A Sorrowful Woman”.

Michael Meyer said that, ” Goodwin selects several key events that e place over a period of year to show us the slow decline of the Woman in her role as wife and mother.”(, online).

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Marriage calls upon woman to obey and serve as a traditional good wife and mother but at the cost of her individuality, which made our protagonist to take life on a very pessimist note. We find woman in a “Sorrowful Woman” as totally tired of her relationship as a mother, a wife and of her life. Godwin says,  “The sight of them made her so sad and sick she did not want to ever see them again” (Gail, 35).

This story was initially titles “Sorrowful Mother”, as whose obsession of motherhood was putting question on her individuality. But it is not a story of only mother but the question of independent identity and individuality of all women. This dilemma brought them onto the verge of depression and ultimately their downfall. Therefore it is not the Sorrowful mother but A Sorrowful Woman.

Godwin, Gail. "A Sorrowful Woman" in Dream Children. Ballantine Books, 1996.
Micheal Meyer, A Plot, Sorrowful Woman, Online, 22th May 2008 Available at


A Sorrowful Woman essay

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What kind of person is the sorrowful woman in the poem?

Godwin's protagonist, the sorrowful woman, is clearly a privileged white woman. She has a husband who is capable of supporting the family in comfort on his sole income. There is ample food in the house, the wife has a "room of her own" she can retreat to, and the husband can afford to hire a caretaker to assume his wife's duties in the home.

What is the message of a sorrowful woman by Gail Godwin?

In Gail Godwin's short story "A Sorrowful Woman", does the husband's response to his wife's Gail Godwin's short story "A Sorrowful Woman" is a strongly polemical feminist story, which is making an argument concerning the nature of patriarchy.

Is a sorrowful woman based on a true story?

Like such classic short stories as Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “A Sorrowful Woman” is based on the gradual and inexplicable withdrawal of the main character from everyday life. The story also follows a seasonal pattern.

How many words does the story a sorrowful woman have?

Word Count: 488 It's significant that "A Sorrowful Woman" was published in 1976. To us, forty-plus years later, the story can seem dated because women are no longer routinely confined to household and childcare duties. Most women in our culture now work outside the home, and their income is a significant and necessary

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A Sorrowful Woman. (2016, Jun 24). Retrieved from

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