Critical Analysis Of I Want A Wife By Judy Brady
As the quote by Wyland says, “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” I found this quote and took it into a different direction. This was by viewing women as the “ocean” and the “heart” as men, it shows through this quote and could be based on this essay because the women in the households are inspiring their husbands to do their best and giving them joy. This essay is focused on Brady highlighting the expectations and responsibilities married women are expected to fulfill in their marriages primarily focused for their husband and children. Brady also states that she wants to have a wife so that she doesn’t have to be dependent on another person, she is trying to say that she wants to play the role as the husband. Brady’s thesis in this essay is that women’s roles in marriages are unequal to men, in which they are the ones dealing with all the responsibilities of the family. Her purpose for this essay is to influence women to speak up for their rights and to move away from the stereotype of women taking care of everything in the house. “I Want a Wife” is an essay outlining the evidence of women being treated poorly and unequal to men. Some people to be more specific men, would say that is okay and that is their job but it is just simply them following the society during that time. I could understand both clarifications because of evidence, language, intended audience, method and structure.
This was published in December 1971 in New York Magazine. This essay was written as a speech for a rally in San Francisco in 1970. I believe the target audience is women to show them that they are cruelly being treated in their society. In my opinion, the women were resistant in these suggestions to stand up for their rights because of the society or year they were living in and they didn’t want to go against what others were saying. At the same time, they wanted to be receptive because they wanted change and were probably tired of being treated badly. The writer should have approached the intended audience in a strong and hard core way by showing how men treat them daily with a skit, and providing people of authority who would help to change stereotypes so the women would not feel as though they were alone, to also speak about their health and how stress affects their interactions with others. This is also in small way intended to men also to describe and show ways in which they are poorly treating their wives.
The examples throughout this essay were suitable, relevant for this particular type and it had sufficient amount of evidence to support her reasoning. I could say this because through majority of the examples given, Brady has outlined the responsibilities and the roles that the men expect their wives to do. All of these examples show us that the women were being treated unfairly when viewing it based on the recent times, but, in the 70s that was the rule for the women to take care of the men and children by doing all duties. As doing a research to see whether women were allowed to, it only came into existence in the early 70s. So, it could be assumed majority of the women were still playing the role of housewives. This reassures us that the fact that her evidence is sufficient, supporting and suitable to the topic.
Method and structure always play an important role to determine whether an essay is good or not. The modes of development which were used in this essay were description and narration in which she opened the essay by telling a story about her being a wife and wanting one for herself. Then the descriptive part came into which she described all the responsibilities or duties that a wife was expected to do in the 70s.The mode of development which was dominant was description. I can say this because Brady never said she just wants a wife to take of her and her children, but she specifically outlines all the responsibilities men expect women to do around their house and for their families. The order and the organization of this essay is developed in an excellent way is which she puts her points together by least important to most important. So, she starts off from the wife having to take of the children, then to take care of Brady’s physicals needs, a wife who doesn’t complain, one who will take care of Brady’s social life and wife that is sensitive to Brady’s sexual needs. Then she ends her essay by having a rhetorical question in which she makes the readers question who wouldn’t want a wife to show how important wives are in marriages. The modes and order of this essay is effective for the points Brady has pointed out because it has made her point seem truthful. She has chosen the correct mode of development because it has helped to put the reader on her side of the argument. To realize that women are treated unequal to men, they do everything and most times the men get recognized.
Lastly, one of the main roles that help develop a good essay is the language being used throughout the essay. The tone in “I Want a Wife” is sarcastic, humorous and seems to me like a casual conversation that you would have with someone. That she describes having to do the same jobs before when she was in a relationship. Now, she doesn’t like this job wants a wife to do it for her and to take care of all the family needs. All of this is humorous because she is trying to say that women are being treated unequal to men but wants a wife so she can live the unbothered life as men are doing. The tone is unsuitable to me because if you are going to be speaking about such a strong you shouldn’t be taking the approach that there will be jokes and that sarcasm will be throughout the essay. The word “I want a wife” is repeated multiple times to emphasize the responsibilities or roles a wife has to do or is expected to do. The figures of speech present in the essay repetition in the word of “I want a wife’, Brady uses this to show the selfish life of the husband and that the men expect women to do everything for them. The other figure of speech which is present in the essay is irony, to add a little humor to this serious issue. It is used to show the gender specific roles like the phrase specifying the role of the woman “I want a who will work and send me to school”. The thing I find humorous in this essay is that if it was not stated that a woman wrote this essay, I would have thought it was a man. The last device I found in this essay was hyperbole and this is the device that was easy to find. Brady overexaggerates all the responsibilities and duties that a wife has to do, she does all this to make her point clear to the readers. This exaggeration can be seen by the line” A wife who will pick up after my children, a wife who will pick up after me.”, this shows us that the women in marriages are viewed as slaves for their husband and family. The last line is” My God, who wouldn’t want a wife?”, puts emphasis on the fact that wouldn’t want a wife or a person whom they can have them do all the responsibilities and duties needed.
In conclusion, this essay has showed the evolution of women from the 70s to now as in which women are not forced to stay at home and take care of all the family’s needs, but they now get a chance to work and the family’s responsibilities is shared between husband and wife. Thanks to women standing up especially Judy Brady we now have gender equality. “I Want a Wife”, used irony and humour to make a serious situation funny. It had me engaged from start to finish and I believe it had the readers of this essay engaged. It was quite enjoyable.
Brady, Judy. ‘The ’70S Feminist Manifesto That’s Still A Must-Read Today’. The Cut, 2017, https://www.thecut.com/2017/11/i-want-a-wife-by-judy-brady-syfers-new-york-mag-1971.html. Accessed 13 Mar 2019.
Kennedy, X. J et al. The Brief Bedford Reader. 13th ed., pp. 460-461.
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