The Revolt of 'Mother' Essay

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In the following brief essay, Gallagher discusses the symbolism of names in Freeman's story.

"The Revolt of 'Mother"' is one of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's most frequently anthologized stories, and, as an exemplary member of the local-color genre, its action is both poignant and culturally revealing. In this note I would like to call attention to a hitherto unnoticed aspect of Mrs. Free-man's art, that is, the way in which her names blend realistically with the story, while, at the same time, subtly enriching it.

The prominence of Biblical given names (Adoniram, Sarah, Samuel, Anna, Hiram, Rufus) in "The Revolt of 'Mother,"' particularly names from the Old Testament, reflects a common rural Puritan practice. In Adoniram and Sarah, however, we can also uncover what must be a conscious correspondence between the fictional and the Biblical characters. The Biblical Adoniram was the overseer for King Solomon...

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This section contains 617 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Revolt of 'Mother' Study Guide
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The Revolt of 'Mother' from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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