What kind of person is Mother in "The Revolt of Mother" and how does Freeman reveal her character?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

'Mother', also known as Sarah Penn, is a strong and patient woman.  She has relied on the promise of her husband to one day build her a comfortable home, and has not "nagged" as the years past.  She is mature and works hard, never neglecting her duties.  Even when Adoniram is discovered to have backed out of his promise, she adheres closely to her duties and to her role as a 'Mother'.  She will not allow her daughter to speak out against her father.  She does not herself turn to emotional pleas.  Instead, she argues logically with her husband.  When that fails, this strong and independent woman simply takes what is rightfully hers by moving into the barn.

Freeman uses third person point of view and allusions to express these characteristics.  The 3rd person viewpoint allows the audience to get a factual, unbiased account of this woman, her thoughts and her behavior.  Readers become detached observers who can form their own opinions about the situation and the characters, rather than having an internal narrator casting bias on the situation.  In addition, allusions to famous people - such as Daniel Webster - allow the audience to get a clearer picture of the author's character.  If she is being connected to the effective public speaker Webster, than we know she is herself an effective speaker.

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The Revolt of 'Mother'

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