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I Want a Wife
Transcript of I Want a Wife
About the author - Judy Brady
About the essay and its purpose
Style and Structure
Summarising the essay
Roles and Responsibilities of a wife
About the essay and its purpose
The essay was written in 1971 during the Feminist Movement.
Judy Brady was herself a great feminist writer of her time and the essay had a great impact on the feminist movement.
She had first read the essay to a crowd gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote.
Its main purpose is to highlight the selfish point of view of husbands and their traditional expectations out of wives, and inequality suffered by women.
About Judy Brady
Born in San Francisco in 1937.
Has a BFA degree from the University of Iowa in painting.
Has been active in the women's movement since 1969.
Currently an activist focusing on issues related to cancer and the environment.
Has several written essays on topics such as union organizing, abortion, and the role of women in society.
Has edited 'Women and Cancer" (1990) , an anthrology of writings by women.
Has edited 'One in Three: Women with Cancer Confront an Epidemic' (1991).
Style and Structure of the essay
Definition Essay written in Descrpitive mode
Tone is humorous
Brady has used several repetitions to get the reader's attention.
“I want a wife…”
“I” is repeated to show the husband's selfish point of view.
Irony has been used to add a little humor and to expand a judgement of men's perspective on gender roles.
The title is itself an irony.
The writer regrets on being a wife and thinks about owning one.
Brady has made use of pathos with the purpose of making the audience sympathise with her understand her emotions and feelings.
Brady has provided numerous examples and reasons throughout the essay to explain why she, a wife herself, wants a wife. She intends to prove her central argument of women's roles are difficult and unequal to men.
In the start of the essay, the writer classifies herself in the category of wives.
Then, she expresses the irony of wanting a wife before moving on to explaining why.
The Thesis Statement
Why do i want a wife?
Why the writer wants a wife?
So that she is able to go back to school to become economically independent and her wife does all her work at home and send her to school.
Basically, the author wants a wife so that she can shift the burden of all her responsibilities and duties on her wife's shoulders.
Summarising the essay
To take care of the children.
To keep track of their doctor and dentist appointments.
To make sure they eat properly and are kept clean.
To wash their clothes and keep them mended.
To be a good nurturer - arranging their schooling, ensuring they have an adequate social life.
To take care of them when they are sick and need special care.
She should be able to manage the family and children without loosing her job, if she has a job outside.
Fulfilling the physical needs
To keep the house clean.
To keep the the writer's clothes ironed, mended, replaced when needed to, ensure that the writer's personal things are kept in proper order.
To be a good cook - plan menus, cook meals and serve them pleasantly.
To do the necessary grocery shopping.
To take care of the writer when she is sick and sympathize her.
To take care of the writer and the children wen the family is on a vacation.
To type the writer's papers when she has finished writing them.
To accept her duties and fulfill them without complaining.
To allow the writer to replace her with another wife if she finds a more suitable wife. Also, in such case, to take sole responsibility of the children.
To quit working once the writer is through with school and fully devote herself to her duties.
Taking care of Social Life
To take care of the babysitting arrangements of the children when the couple is invited somewhere.
To prepare special meal when the writer invites friends and not interrupt them while they are talking.
To make sure the children are fed and ready for bed early before guests arrive.
To take special care of the guests when they are invited.
To understand that the writer needs a night out sometimes.
Towards sexual life
To be sensitive to the writer's sexual needs.
To not demand sexual attention when the writer is not in mood.
To be responsible towards birth control.
To understand about the writer's sexual needs and allow monogamy.
Judy Brady wrote this essay to highlight the inequality suffered by wives because of the selfish and traditional viewpoint of their husbands.
In the essay, she has portrayed herself as a husband and listed out the duties she would expect her wife to perform.
In the end, she concludes with line, "My God,who wouldn't want a wife", in order to sum up her message and purpose of the essay.
Assisting in the writer's profession
To listen to the writer when she needs to explain a difficult point in her course of studies.
To type papers for the writer when she finishes writing them.