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In The Revolt of 'Mother,' how does Freeman reveal Mother's character through...

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reda2 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:13 PM via web

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In The Revolt of 'Mother,' how does Freeman reveal Mother's character through description and figurative language?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 27, 2011 at 11:15 PM (Answer #1)

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The author uses rather concise language to create in the character of Mother a strong woman, who has been taught to honor and obey her husband.  She does not hesitate to ask for the things she wants or inquire about things the family needs.  However, regardless of his answer, she goes back to work in a dutiful and quiet manner.

It is obvious from her body language and the description of Mother's reactions to her husband's answers about the digging and the plans for a new barn in the exact place which had been promised for their new house, that Mother is not pleased with her husband's decision.

Only after her daughter's angry suggestion that they have her wedding in the new barn, however, is it clear what Mother plans to do.  From her reaction to the arrival of her brother's letter inviting Adoniram to come look at a horse he might be interesting in buying, the reader can suppose she had something to do with that letter.  However, in the hours immediately following her husband's departure, she and the family are busy moving into the barn and moving the new hay order and the new livestock into both the old barn and the old house.

Of course, her husband and the neighbors act appropriately shocked and put out with Mother's action, but the understatement of her actions speak loudly through her meek but not weak character.  She has never raised her voice, she has never openly defied her husband, there has never been an ugly outbreak of confrontation.  However, her actions speak loudly enough for everyone.  She is serious about providing properly for her family, and the cows don't need a better housing provision.

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