The Revolt of Mother: The Power of DecisionDecisions shape our lives. In history , the decisions of leaders andgenerals have changed the course of mankind. In today’s world , multi-billiondollar corporations rest on the decisions of a few select executives. On asmaller but no less important scale, acting on decisions can liberate peoplefrom stagnation. In the story “The Revolt of Mother” the main character showsus the power of acting on decisions. Mother recognizes the wrongs of hersituation and weighs the effect on her family. In the end she acts to freeherself and her family from forty years of wrong.
Mother lives forty years with a suppressed dreama new housepromised to her after her wedding. She lives with the everyday routine ofcleaning the house and cooking pies for the family. This shows the stagnation ofher everyday existence; an existence brought about by forty years of non-decision. Mother stays content with her shack. “She was a masterly keeper ofher box of a house. Her one living room never seemed to have in it any of thedust which the friction of life with inanimate matter produces”(LACpg.
284).This shows the lack of empowerment mother has at this time of the story. Thisstate is partly due to the societya time that was male dominated anddiscouraged the wife to speak outand partly because mother just feel into aroutine that included everything except her happiness. I felt that mothercentered her life around providing for her family but forgot to look towards herown needs. She bakes pies, cooks dinner and it everything else except thingsthat made her happy. Mother discovers disturbing news when she learns that herfuture house is giving way to Father’s new barn.
Mother would have probably lether dream die if it were not for a conversation with her daughter. Motherrealizes that it’s not just her happiness involved. This breach of contract nowinvolved the happiness of the family. Mother does something that changes herstate: she decides and acts on it.
Many times our personal happiness takes a back seat in a busy world.I forget my own need sometimes just trying to please loved onesmom, dad, mom,dad. Sometimes when someone else’s happiness is in jeopardy I’m more inclinedto act. Mother is ashamed that her daughter is going to be married in such asmall, drafty house.
“I want you to look at the stairs that go up to themunfinished chambers that are all the places that our son an’ daughter have tosleep in all their lives. There ain’t a prettier girl in town nor a moreladylike than Nanny, an’ that’s the place she has to sleep in”(LAC pg. 286).Mother does something remarkable. Though she vehemently denies to doing so,Mother decides to complain.
She complains to father and break the monotonoussilence and complains. As far as we know Mrs. Penn has failed to do this forforty years. Though she gets a less than favorable response from her husband”Iain’t got nothin’ to say”it is the first response about the subject in years.It’s a very important event because Mrs.
Penn gets the answer to her forty yearquestionno. The house is not going to be built. Mrs.
Penn’s dream dies for now.Then a new opportunity shows the power of acting on decision.There is an old saying that says: When God closes a door he opens awindow and a back door and a manhole and a secret entrance.
There are alwaysdifferent solutions or second chances to resolve problems. Mrs. Penn acted onher first decision to confront her husband’s neglect of the family’s comfort.She tried and failed to change her husband’s mind. Opportunity presents Mrs.Penn another chance to set things right.
Father leaves the family and newlybuilt barn to take a buy a horse in Vermont. Earlier, Nanny, with gentlepettishness, suggested to have the wedding in the barn. This helps fuel a bolddecision by Mrs. Penn.”S’posin’ I had wrote to Hiram, she had muttered once, when she wasin the pantry”s’psoin I had wrote him , an’ asked if he knew of any horse? ButI didn’t an father’s goin’ an it ain’t none of my doin’. It looks live aprovidence”(LAC pg.
289).Mrs. Penn decides a divine opportunity has been presented to her.Again the power of acting on