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In looking for similarities in style and theme in Mary E Wilkins Freemans The Revolt of Mother and Luella Miller the most obvious is that the central characters in each story are strong New England women living during the turn of the century There is also the recurring theme of the ramifications faced by women who rebelled against their traditional role in a society dominated by men What is interesting about these themes is not only what they relate about feminism in early America but also what they reveal about the authors own life Biographies about Freeman state that she was a diligent and ambitious writer but also that she didnt marry until she was nearly 50 years of age connecting her own behavior in many ways to those of her characters Luella Miller and Revolt of Mother both highlight a strong-willed woman as in Lydia Anderson and Sarah Penn and a fragile character Luella Miller and Nanny Penn In each story the strong woman realizes it is their duty to help the more fragile woman At the end of Luella Miller Lydia Anderson is the only person in town who will even help Luella and does so even knowing that her own health could be in danger noting nobody else dared to go there It was about midnight that I left her for a minute to run home and get some medicine I had been takin for I begun to feel rather bad Similarly Sarah Penn in Revolt of Mother defies her husband with the sole intention to housekeep for her soon-to-be married daughter who Sarah claimed want ever strong Shes got considerable color but there want never any backbone to her Ive always took the heft of everything off her an she aint fit to keep house an do everything herself Shell be all worn out inside of a year Each woman is a strong-willed caretaker who knows what conventional
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