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I Want A Wife Essay

947 words - 4 pages

In “I Want a Wife,” Judy Brady shows her audience what it’s like to be a wife in the 1970s. In the situation she sets up, the husband is going back to school while the wife works and cares for the children. By recounting the wife’s many expected duties in a sarcastic tone, Brady is able to show the readers the unfair workload placed on wives at this time. In addition to these detailed responsibilities, Brady’s avoidance of pronouns when it comes to the word wife creates a disconnection from gender, allowing men to see the work as it is, without bias expectations.

A wife’s duties in I Want a Wife are numerous, but they all boil down to the care of both the children and the husband, leaving ...view middle of the document...

” The wife must be both chef and waitress during the party. On vacation, the wife is required to look after the children, so that the husband can relax, and when it comes to the bedroom, the wife must ensure the husband’s sexual needs are met while never demanding her own are attended to. The huge gap between what is expected of the wife and what is expected of the husband is so apparent that it is hard to see how anyone could miss it which is a contributing factor to the sarcastic tone of the piece.

The fact that Brady is presenting these duties in such a sarcastic tone may not be immediately apparent to her entire audience. Her intent may be to have some male readers nodding their heads before they catch on that she’s pointing out the ridiculousness of these expectations rather than condoning them. She begins in what seems to be a sincere attitude as she ponders the situation of a recently divorced male friend. As the responsibilities of the wife pile up, it becomes clear that she is pointing out how much wives must do in their daily life, but she isn’t undeniably sarcastic until she mentions that the wife must miss work if the children become ill. “It may mean a small cut in my wife’s income from time to time, but I guess I can tolerate that.” She continues to be clearly sarcastic from this point on with phrases like “needless to say” and “of course” while making increasingly aggressive comparisons between what the husband requires...

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