26). Once more her husband seems to be the caring and considerate kind person as he cares for her. To explain what is happening he tells their son, "'Mommy is sick,' as he carries her off to bed" (Godwin, p. 26)).
The next day the woman's husband fixes her breakfast in bed and tries to soothe her. Weeks pass as the narrator continues to distance herself from her roles as wife, mother and homemaker, eventually closing herself off in her room. Unexpectedly, the narrator wakes one day and finds that she must immediately find things to do to keep her active. She spends the following days engaging in myriad activities around the house, from cleaning and cooking to doing the laundry and knitting clothes. It is these responsibilities and duties, allegedly the stuff of myth that makes a woman happy but that do little to provide meaning or fulfillment for the narrator in "A Sorrowful Woman." As such, she confines herself to a tiny room she has taken over. This tiny space is meant to symbolize the tiny space for expression the woman suffers in her limiting roles as wife, mother and homemaker. As she tells us at one point; "She had hardly space to breathe" (Godwin, p. 29).
We find that patriarchy often defines strict roles and rigid norms of behavior based on gender. It is part of gender mythology that women are fulfilled and happy so long as they have a nice husband, healthy children, and a home to look after. As such, for those women who are not fulfilled by this myth and who find as little meaning in it as the narrator, these roles are confining and ultimately deadening. We see that one day the no name woman expires in her room. We find this out not in a dramatic way but in a very subtle and barely perceptible manner when her husband checks the "delicate bones on her wrist" and placed his face "into her fresh-washed hair" (Godwin, p. 30). Godwin appears to be a