The short story titled “A Sorrowful Woman” by Gayle Godwin and the extract from “A Secret Sorrow” by Karen Zee, deal with the complex emotional world of women. The unnamed woman in Godwin’s story and Faye in Zee’s story experience intense sorrow that is difficult to…
la story with a predictable plot and happy ending, Godwin deals with a much more sophisticated plot that involves mysterious turns of events and unpredictable responses by characters.
Kai, the male protagonist of Zee’s story exhibits all the stereotypes of a masculine, insistent lover who invades the personal space of Faye in order to assert his ‘ownership’ of her. Faye is thinking of sacrificing their love because she cannot conceive a child. After a lot of melodrama, she manages to tell this to Kay, and Kay assures her that he will marry her not because she is “some kind of baby factory”. In his words, “I love you, not your procreating ability. So we have a problem. Well, we’ll learn to deal with it” (35). The story had already reached its predictable height of cliché earlier when he proclaimed, “No other woman can give me what you can—yourself, your love, your warmth, your sense of humor. All the facets of your personality that make up the final you […]. That’s what love is all about’” (34).
On the other hand, the reason for sorrow of the nameless woman in Godwin’s story is not clearly stated. Readers will be tempted to read their versions of story, as its events progress and lead to a totally unpredictable and tragic end. When the woman starts to exhibit signs of a nervous breakdown, the husband tries his best to adjust with the new situation. He even sacrifices a lot of his time and energy to cook, clean and look after their son all by his own, while being a dutiful husband who looks after his wife’s health needs as well. However, there is no reference in the story where he tries to convince her of his love for her, other than through his actions. The woman is in fact convinced that he cares for her, but she cannot help but being a distant, indifferent wife and mother. It upsets her when her son shows the smallest sign of violence or carelessness towards her. She fires the girl who was hired to look after him, because she ...
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