Father Melancholy's Daughter Summary
Gail Godwin

Everything you need to understand or teach Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin.

  • Father Melancholy's Daughter Summary & Study Guide

Father Melancholy's Daughter Summary

A woman's journey to identity is the primary theme of Father Melancholy's Daughter. Margaret must ask not only "Who am I?" but at the same time, "What do I owe to others?" before she can answer "What do I owe to myself?"

Margaret's way may be harder than most, because her own mother, who struggled with the same questions, is unavailable to her.

There is a related theme of how one's art or work connects with one's real life. Even without any feminist message the book shows these as harder for a woman to integrate than for a man. Walter's personal life and calling are all of one piece. Ruth had to leave home and family to even begin seeking her own work. Madelyn ultimately makes of her art not only a success but a larger statement, but she does it without much of a personal support system...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Father Melancholy's Daughter Study Pack contains: