I Want a Wife by Judy Brady

Category: Literature
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Pages:  6
Words:  1912
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  1. According to Brady, the definition of a wife is a woman who supports her spouse physically and emotionally, who takes care of the children and household. A woman who lives to care for her husband and her children.
  2. The wife’s responsibilities are to take care of the children, for example, to make sure they have eaten, are clean and prepare them for school or any other activities. And of course, the same goes for her spouse. The wife also has behaviors that are expected of her. For example, when the spouse decides to bring people that he likes from school to his house, the house must be impeccable. The wife also must cook for his guests and serve them. When they get invited to go somewhere, the wife must figure out the babysitting arrangements. The wife is also expected to take care of the children and the spouse’s physical needs, for example, consistently keeping the house clean and his clothes perfectly “ironed, mended, and replaced when needed to be.” She also must know how to cook, and cook well, and while he is studying, she plans a menu, then she needs to prepare the meal and clean up after her children and her husband. Another behavior the wife is responsible for is when the spouse wants to take a family vacation, she shall continue to care and pamper him the way she does at home. He also wants his wife to never complain about her wife’s duties, and to always listen to him. Meaning that she cannot give her opinion about her wife duties because that is her responsibility.
  3. On the other hand, the spouse’s only responsibility is to go to school, and study. The wife takes care of everything else. He would not even write his own papers because he wants the wife to do that. He wants to be able to go to school and not have to worry about anything at home, because his wife physically, emotionally, and financially supports him.
  4. Based on the context or Brady’s essay, Nurturant means that the wife is very loving and affectionate with her children, that she always took the best care of them. A hors d’oeuvres is served before the entrée, it is an appetizer, with anything you would like, like cheese and crackers or etc. The husband wanted the wife to prepare this and be attentive of their guests, always have an ashtray, make sure their wine glasses are never empty, and that most importantly, they feel comfortable.

Purpose and Audience

  1. The reasoning behind Brady writing this essay was not to explain a wife’s duties nor to complain about her situation or attack men and society for having this attitude towards women. It is to show to her audience that the responsibilities the wife has and the certain way she must behave is not right, and the way society sees wives and how they should be, is not fair. Men’s views on how a wife should behave has changed over the years. When this essay was published, every man saw a wife this way. She is the one who has to do everything the man says, and she has no opinion or no way out. Glady, this has all changed, and Brady wrote this to show how sexist society was and how their point of view on women was extremely wrong.
  2. The definition of a wife that Brady gives his audience is not realistic nor is it fair. It is not realistic because society does not see a wife this way anymore, women are now treated as equally as men. In paragraph 3, Brady says “I would like to go back to school so that I can become economically independent, support myself, and if need be, support those dependent upon me.” This states that the wife needs to support him while he goes to school, and he wants to go to school to support himself, and maybe his wife and his children, if he wants to. Brady in paragraph 3 also says that “My wife must arrange to lose time at work and not lose the job. It may mean a small cut in my wife’s income from time to time, but I guess I can tolerate that. Needless to say, my wife will arrange and pay for the care of the children while my wife is working.” This quote emphasizes that the wife must put her job at risk, so her husband can go to school. The wife needs to also arrange and pay for the care of the children.
  3. This essay was written based off of female roles in society. Women should not be the ones responsible for the cooking, cleaning and child care. Men should also participate and help the wife with everything. In paragraph 4, Brady says “I want a wife who will keep my house clean. A wife who will pick up after my children, a wife who will pick up after me.” This highlights that women are the ones who do the work around the house, while men just sit and watch. Brady write this essay for social and economic background because she wants society’s point of view on women to change. Society should not view women as servants to their husbands.
  4. This essay is very realistic, fair, and irrelevant to present times. It is realistic because when society saw women as not equal, they expected these responsibilities and behaviors from them. They expected wife’s to only care for their children and for the husband, to take care of his physical needs, and his social life. It is fair to men because men do not have to worry about cooking or cleaning, they do not have to worry about nurturing children and little arrangements that the women take care of. It benefits men for women to do all the work. This is irrelevant to present times because society has grown over time, and thankfully society does not see women this way anymore.

Method and Structure

  1. Many men have different point of views on how women should be treated in their house hold. To some men, they are in a marriage because it benefits themselves in their personal ways, and they take their wife for granted. But on the other hand, other men are in a marriage because they want to be, because they appreciate their wife. Brady uses definition to achieve her purpose by using repetition of the words “I want a wife” in her essay. This shapes her ideas and highlights her thesis at the end of the passage.
  2. A wife has many responsibilities, she must cook and clean and prepare her children, she must do the same for her husband, take care of his social life, of his physical and emotion needs, and the finances, A wife is taken for granted. But instead, a wife should be the other half to her husband, and have the same responsibilities as a man, should be able to work and maintain the household, as well as her husband.
  3. The introduction serves as a point of view to the audience to understand the way she feels and how she feels that way. It is classified into a group, specifically wives. Paragraph 1 shows this. Paragraph 2 confirms Brady’s definition because the wife must work and send the husband to school, and then needs take care of his physical needs, then his social life, then his sexual needs. The question at the end of the introduction relates to the question at the end of the essay because the first question says, “why do I want a wife?” then throughout the essay she demonstrates the qualities a wife is supposed to have, and all thing things a wife is supposed to do. And at the end of the essay, she says “who wouldn’t want a wife?” The second question emphasizes all the things a wife must go through, all the things she must go over, she takes care of everything and the spouse does not have to worry about anything. A wife is often taken for granted.
  4. The author classifies the different things a wife must do to fulfill her husband’s needs, she separates them into categories. Paragraph 4 is an example of a category because it says “I want a wife who will keep my house clean. A wife who will keep my clothes clean, ironed, mended, and replaced.” This highlights the duties and responsibilities of a wife. Another example of a category is paragraph 7, “I want a wife who is sensitive to my sexual needs, a wife who makes love passionately and eagerly when I feel like it, a wife who makes sure that I am satisfied.” This emphasizes another duty a wife must do to fulfill and make her husband happy. Different classifications help develop the argument. The argument is that women should not be looked upon like a servant to men. Women deserve more than how society and men view them.


  1. Brady uses a sarcastic tone throughout her essay to humorously exaggerate the wants and desires a husband dreams of his wife. For example, in paragraph 3, Brady says “I want a wife to keep track of the children’s doctors and dentist appointments. And to keep track of mine, too.” and in paragraph 4, Brady says “I want a wife who will keep my house clean.” Brady lists these things that a wife should do to indicate that saying “I want a wife” is much more simplistic than being one.
  2. Brady repeats “I want a wife” in almost every sentence to make a point about women’s stereotypes and mocks men and society’s unrealistic expectations for women. The stylistic device conveys that the person who wants a wife does not want to worry about any little arrangements like doctor or dentist appointments for their children and they do not want to deal with cooking and cleaning. They rather have a wife to do that for them. Therefore Brady argues that women are treated unfairly in marriages, it is wrong, and women should not belong under the power of men. This fits in with Brady’s main idea and purpose because it shows the mistreatment and misconception of being a wife. Her purpose was to have women take action and stand up for themselves.
  3. Brady never substituted the personal pronoun “she” for “my wife” because Brady does not want a wife, she states that a wife needs to cook and clean and care for her husband and her children, and that a wife needs to handle her husband’s physical, social, and financial arrangements. These things are her responsibility as a wife. In paragraph 3, Brady repeats “my wife” instead of replacing it with “she”, “Needless to say, my wife will arrange and pay for the care of the children while my wife is working.” The effect of the repetition of the word “my wife” in the same sentences adds emphasis to the end. This changes the meaning of “my wife” from an independent person, to the authors object.
  4. Brady uses expressions, such as “of course” and “needless to say” in paragraph 3, because these expressions illustrate the mocking tone that makes it obvious that the men, along with society, are motivated by self-interest by using the “obvious” factor of things. These modifiers sprinkle the essay with satirical edginess and contain underlying criticisms about men’s view on the common wife. It also highlights the duties that Brady believes should not be immediately expected of a wife.
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I Want A Wife By Judy Brady. (2019, Aug 05). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/i-want-a-wife-by-judy-brady/

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