A Sorrowful Woman

Length: 3 Pages 817 Words

“A Sorrowful Woman” is a selection written by Gail Godwin. Within this selection she shows how a marriage does not always lead to a perfect life. Godwin uses “A Sorrowful Woman” to portray modern marriages. “A Sorrowful Woman” is a parody of fairy tales. The traditional fairy tale has a fixed resolution- everyone lives happily ever after. At the beginning of “A Sorrowful Woman” the reader is given the illusion of a happy story because it begins “Once upon a Time” (Godwin 33). In this story the ideal of a traditional fairy tale is mocked. The characters in this selection are not given names (Godwin 33); this signifies that the characters are playing a universal role. The epigraph at the beginning of story suggests that she was not meant to be a wife and a mother (Godwin 33). The reason for this conclusion is because once upon a time implies that she thought her life as a wife and mother would be perfect. The sorrowful woman hit her child on purpose so that her husband would see it (Godwin 34). In a fairy tale the mother would be happy to spend time with her family. Godwin makes fun of fairy tales by having the characters do all the opposite things of characters in a fairy tale. When the sight of her Continue...


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The traditional fairy tale tells of happy endings, problems that always work out for the best, enjoyable events, and a springtime that brings about rebirth. Works CitedGoodwin, Gail. In "A Sorrowful Woman" the wife dies instead of living happily ever after, which is quite the opposite of "The Sleeping Beauty (Godwin 37). "A Sorrowful Woman" is a reverse fairy tale (a version of "The Sleeping Beauty" gone wrong) for many different reasons. When none of the solutions worked she found a permanent solution-suicide (Godwin 37). Combined with the fact that her husband is completely devoted to her. When she can no longer endure being in the world, she kills herself (Godwin 37). "A Sorrowful Woman" is just the opposite of a fairy tale. There was nothing that would relieve the sorrowful woman of her depression.

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