A sorrowful woman

A sorrowful woman

The meaning of the word family, and our attitudes toward it, depends greatly on our own personal experiences within a family, or the lack of them. The two stories that we read show how different attitudes towards family can affect the level of happiness a person will experience in life. We saw how this affected both Karen van der Zee’s character Faye in A Secret Sorrow and Gail Godwin’s unnamed female character in “A Sorrowful Woman.” These women not only have very different feelings about family, but their attitudes concerning family seem to feed the problem in each story. Even though we only get to read a two-chapter excerpt, we know that Faye was involved in an automobile accident that took her ability to have children of her own. Faye is so emotionally over wrought that she gives up everything she knows, her home, her job, and her fianc?Ÿ??, and moves in with her brother. After settling in at her brother’s, Fay meets and falls in love with one of his friends, Kai. She refuses to marry Kai and cannot offer him a sufficient explanation, because she does not want him to know about her inability to bear children. Faye portrays the fairy tale lost. She longs for the traditional role of family and motherhood and her own personal “happily ever after” in marriage and family. This ideal was suddenly snatched from her in the car accident. She struggles with depression and is obviously in the mourning process because of the loss she has suffered. Her longing for family is so strong, she finds it necessary to leave everything behind to be with the only family we know of, her brother. She sees herself as undesirable and less of a woman because of her inability to produce children. She becomes so caught up in her own personal pain that she cannot imagine how someone would want to be with her and have a life just with her. The problem with Faye’s attitude towards family is that as long as she has this feeling of ina…


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