Feminine Liberation and Sue Miller’s “The Good Mother”


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Essay #: 053052
Total text length is 4,367 characters (approximately 3.0 pages).

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The beginning:
Feminine Liberation and Sue Miller’s "The Good Mother"
Sue Miller’s The Good Mother is a testimony to the troubles women can face as mothers attempting to find their own happiness in post-divorce life. It also points out how mid-20th century feminist revolutionary morality was still contained and ruled by the post-Victorian mores that persisted into the 1920s. In the end, all the freedom of mind and movement that the main character is supposed to be enjoying as a liberated woman and single mother are false. They are made false by the society and legal institutions that were supposed to make her free.
Anna Dunlap is a divorced woman with a three year-old daughter named Molly. They are living in Boston where Anne begins a new single-mother...
The end:
.....Leo into her life. These two decisions lost her Molly.
So her despising Leo is a way of hating herself. Punishing Leo is her way of punishing herself. There is nothing she can really do to herself because punishing herself overtly would be a way of punishing Molly. Leo is more or less a subconscious tactical sacrifice to lend meaning to the meaningless destruction of her happy household.
It seems that even with feminine liberation there is still a society to be contended with. Sue Miller understands that the freedom to choose is just the beginning for a woman. There is still the larger society that will be watching her happiness with a hawkish to make demands on it.
Miller, Sue. The Good Mother. New York: Harper and Rowe, 1986.