1-How did you respond to the except from A secret Sorrow and to “A Sorrowful Woman”?
Faye in Secret Sorrow was more likeable to me than the unnamed wife was in “Sorrowful Woman.” To me, it seemed that Faye had reasons behind her sorrow, reasons that, although not completely defined in the excerpt, led to her pain and suffering. In contrast, the unnamed wife in “A Sorrowful Woman” went from being okay to being distant, with no apparent trigger. My reasoning behind the favoring of Faye is probably more emotional than anything else. Being able to relate the situations to real life experiences, there is always sympathy for a woman unable to conceive, but no sympathy for someone able to care for their own children but refusing to do so.
2- Describe what you found appealing in each story?
Although, the characters situations in Secret Sorrow were more appealing to me personally, I would have to say that the overall depiction of the character’s emotional state was better written in “A Sorrowful Woman.” It was easier to get a better sense of how the emotions were progressing, and what Godwin’s unnamed wife was feeling at any point in time. The way that Godwin wrote “A Sorrowful Woman” made it so that you were not only reading dialogue, but getting glimpses of events, thoughts, and plans. This is particularly obvious in the passage, “After supper several nights later, she hit the child. She had known she was going to do it when the father would
3- Hoe two women’s attitude toward family life differ? How does that difference constitute the problem in each story?
A Secret Sorrow’s character Faye, has a sorrow that comes from the fact that she cannot conceive and carry children herself, thus giving us the sense that she wants to have a family, and wants to nurture and care for her children. But because she cannot give Kai the children that she knows that he wants, she creates a situation of conflict so that she does not end up trapping him in a marriage without children. However, the unnamed wife in Godwin’s “A Sorrowful Woman” has a family, and seemed to be a nurturing wife until one day she wasn’t anymore. Her attitude and demeanor changed so that she could not stand to be near her own husband or child. This stories conflict comes from a wife that, because of whatever reason, decides to detach from her former duties as wife and mother, and basically becomes prisoner of her own depression. Choosing to abandon her family, and seclude her away from them, thus leaving a child not knowing what’s happening, and a husband trying to cope
4- How would you describe the theme – the central point and meaning __ in each story?
In Secret Sorrow the central point would have to be the struggle to overcome sadness. The meaning behind the story is the portrayal of the painstaking tasks that are required to surpass something as devastating as the loss of a dream that included bearing children. In “A Sorrowful Woman” the central point was more about what the outcome is when one gives in to the tormenting thoughts, ideas, and emotions that come naturally with motherhood. To not try to fight against the emotions, and to simply and easily give up
5- To what extent might “A Sorrowful” be regarded as an unromantic sequel to A Secret Sorrow?
I would say that it is very likely that, aside from some obvious character manipulations, “A Sorrowful Woman” could very well be an unromantic sequel to Secret Sorrow. I say this because Faye, in Secret Sorrow, still felt undeserving and inadequate, even after she had married Kai and adopted a family. Her sorrow seemed to run deep enough that if she decided to simple give up, as did the unnamed wife, then she could easily be in the same predicament that Godwin’s character was in
6- Can both stories be read a second or third time and still be interesting?
A Secret Sorrow would not be as interesting to me a second or third time, simply because all of the emotion and conflict was right there on the surface, and there was no guessing as to what the trigger was. As for “A Sorrowful Woman,” the exact opposite is true and for the opposite reasons. The emotional triggers were not given, and the readers were left to guess as to what her issues were, and whether or not she would overcome them. Suspense is always a major page turner for someone like me, and to have a story that never gives you the what’s and why’s, is always going to
7– Explain how you think a romance formula writer would end “A Sorrow ful women” or write the ending yourself?
Probably the ending would have some form of closure that didn’t come with death. Maybe, something along the lines of the husband discovering that the wife was in depression because she was pregnant, and she found that that news was easier to bear. Something that would be easier to diagnose and resolve than simply mysterious depression for which there were not causes resulting in suicide
8- Contrast what marriage means in the two stories
Marriage in the first story seemed to be something that Faye wanted but felt that she was undeserving of. Marriage was love, strength, and success. In the second story, the unnamed wife seemed to view her marriage as an institution that she was unable to escape. Depression, hurt, and loneliness were the emotions that she seemed to perceive from her union.
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