I Want a Wife by Judy Brady

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Updated: Apr 07, 2023
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Category: Literature
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Pages:  7
Words:  1958
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This “I Want A Wife” by Judy Brady analysis will seek to dissect the author’s meaning, opinion, and true purpose by looking at the meaning, purpose and audience, method and structure, and language present throughout the piece.


  1. According to Brady, the definition of a wife is a woman who supports her spouse physically and emotionally and 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 displays 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 are 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.” 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 activity the wife is responsible for is when the spouse wants to take a family vacation; she shall continue to care for and pamper him the way she does at home. He also wants his wife to never complain about her wifely duties and to always listen to him. Meaning that she cannot give her opinion about her wifely duties because they are 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 his 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 of 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. Hors d’oeuvres are served before the entrée, in the form of an appetizer, with anything you would like, such as cheese and crackers. The husband wanted the wife to prepare this and be attentive to their guests, always have an ashtray, make sure their wine glasses are never empty, and most importantly, ensure that they feel comfortable.

Purpose and Audience

  1. The reasoning behind Brady writing this essay was not to explain a wife’s duties, nor 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 particular 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 and no way out. Fortunately, this has all changed, and Brady wrote this to show how sexist society was and how their point of view on women was extremely incorrect.
  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 to 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 miss time at work and not lose her 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 on female roles in society. Women should not be the ones responsible for all of 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 wrote 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 unequal, they expected these responsibilities and behaviors from them. They expected wives 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 they do not have to worry about cooking or cleaning. They do not have to worry about nurturing children or any of the other little arrangements that the women take care of. It benefits men for women to do all the work. This is not relevant to present times because society has grown and, thankfully, does not see women this way anymore.

Method and Structure

  1. Many men have different points of view on how women should be treated in their households. Some men, they are in a marriage because it benefits them in their personal ways, and they take their wife for granted. However, on the other hand, some 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, and she must do the same for her husband, take care of his social life, his physical and emotional needs, and the finances, A wife is taken for granted. Really, a wife should be the other half of her husband and have the same responsibilities as a man, being able to work and maintain the household, as well as her husband.
  3. The introduction serves as a point of view for the audience to understand the way she feels and why 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 to 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 the things a wife is supposed to do. 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 and all the things she must do, 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, and 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 fulfill to make her husband happy. Different classifications help develop the argument 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 from his wife. For example, in paragraph 3, Brady says, “I want a wife to keep track of the children’s doctor and dentist appointments. And to keep track of mine, too.” 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 actually being one.
  2. Brady repeats “I want a wife” in almost every sentence to make a point about female stereotypes and mocks men and society’s unrealistic expectations for women. This 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 would 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 wives. Her purpose was to encourage 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, and 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 author’s 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the message of I Want a wife by Judy Brady?

I Want a Wife conveys that women should not be confined to traditional gender roles and must be granted equal rights and respect as men. The author contends that women are equally competent in handling household chores, but they deserve the opportunity to pursue a career and achieve their goals.

What rhetorical strategies does Judy Brady use in I Want a wife?

Judy Brady masterfully utilizes various rhetorical techniques in her essay “I Want a Wife”. Employing irony, sarcasm, and wit, she effectively communicates her message. Additionally, she skillfully incorporates hyperbole and understatement to emphasize her points. Through her direct and articulate writing style, she successfully conveys her message with clarity and precision.

What is Judy's main thesis in the essay?

Judy’s central argument in her essay is that the current education system is inadequate in preparing students for their future. According to her, the system is excessively focused on imparting knowledge rather than teaching students essential skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. She firmly advocates for a reformation of the education system to better equip students for the challenges that await them.

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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/