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Judy Brady’s Article "I Want a Wife": Analysis

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Words: 652 |

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4 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

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Words: 652|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

Judy Brady’s Article “I Want a Wife”: Analysis
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In Judy Brady's satirical essay, "I Want a Wife," originally published in 1972 in Ms. Magazine, she employs humor and irony to shed light on the prevalent gender inequalities and societal expectations of the time. Through her witty and exaggerated portrayal of a wife's role in the 1970s household, Brady aims to provoke thought and discussion about these disparities. She effectively employs rhetorical appeals, including Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, to engage her audience and underscore her points.

Brady's use of Ethos, establishing her own identity as a wife and mother, lends credibility to her argument. Brady artfully uses figurative language, such as repetition and irony, to drive home her message. Repetition of the phrase "I want a wife" underscores the societal expectations placed upon wives, emphasizing the unrealistic nature of these demands. The use of irony, where she adopts the persona of a husband listing his expectations of a wife, highlights the absurdity of these expectations. While Brady's sarcasm and bias are evident in her essay, they serve as deliberate tools to provoke thought and draw attention to the inequalities she addresses. In retrospect, "I Want a Wife" remains a thought-provoking piece that continues to spark discussions about gender roles, equality, and the evolution of societal expectations in the decades since its publication.

The short essay I Want a Wife that was featured in 1972 Ms. Magazine, takes the idea of feminism to a whole new level. In a sarcastic and almost humorous way, Judy Brady exaggerates the expected roles of a common household wife in the 70’s. In doing so, she also takes jabs at husbands as a whole. Her main goal is to get the audience to believe in the inequalities presented in a married couple’s relationship. To strengthen her argument, she uses a variety of techniques such as appeals and figurative language. Her bias to the topic however takes away some of the meaning.

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Throughout the entire essay, Brady uses the appeals of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos to persuade her audience. She starts off her essay saying, “I belong to that classification of people known as wives. I am A Wife. And not altogether, incidentally, I am a mother.” By stating this in the first sentence, she is trying to let her audience know right away that she herself “knows” what she is talking about. She is hinting that all of the common housewife jobs that she listed have been performed by her. At the end of the essay she states using Pathos appeal, “My God, who wouldn’t want a wife?” This emotional appeal hits readers of all types involving them emotionally. It leaves the audience to think about what they have read and even gives a sense that they should be taking action. Using Logos, she states all of her duties that we assume she has had to perform. Brady uses this to give the idea that women are expected to do too much. All of these appeals are strategically used throughout her writing to gain an advantage in the audience.

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Deep in Brady’s writing, she uses plenty examples of figurative language that mostly add to the affect of the essay. One example is her use of repetition. Almost every sentence is started with “I want a wife”. Doing so makes her point stronger and more definitive. It shows that men only see their wives as a slave to their needs. Brady also uses Irony throughout the entire paper making it seem as though a male were writing it himself. It then sends a message to the male audience that it is unlikely to find a wife described in the article. “I want a wife who will have the house clean, prepare a special meal, serve it to me and my friends, and not interrupt when I talk about the things that interest me and my friends.” The whole wife role is an exaggerated and unrealistic view of an actual wife.

In the essay, Judy speaks her mind sarcastically while also showing her bias on the situation. Through plenty of examples, the author makes it clear how she feels about her role as a wife. When reading her article, viewers might see that it is just another wife complaining about her jobs and overreacting. Not only does she exaggerate in every sense, she never takes the male role into perspective and fails to give us any credit for the work we do.

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The author in this essay made very good points about such a controversial topic, even today. What she is saying is not wrong and very well supported by her use of appeals and figurative language. Everything is just exaggerated out of proportion. Yes, it would be nice to have a wife how she described but no wife is actually expected to fulfill these rolls. However, her bias causes her to miss the whole other side of the story of what husbands have to go through on a daily basis. This does not yet apply to me being a college student, but when the time comes to settle down, I will surely remember this assignment.

References

  1. Trail, G. Y. (2003). Woman's Work-Where the Rhetoric Meets the Road: Reader Response to" Why I Want a Wife" at 30. The Journal of American Culture, 26(3), 356. (https://www.proquest.com/docview/200652207?pq-origsite=gscholar&fromopenview=true)
  2. Foster, D. (1997). Reading (s) in the writing classroom. College Composition and Communication, 48(4), 518-539. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/358456)
  3. Pratt, C. D. (2012). Sisters in Law: Black women lawyers' struggle for advancement. Mich. St. L. Rev., 1777. (https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/mslr2012&div=64&id=&page=)
  4. Atika, A. P. (2022). Gender Inequality Towards Women: A Cultural Feminist View (Doctoral dissertation) (https://repository.uksw.edu/handle/123456789/23715)
  5. Dutt, T. (1876). Our Casuarina Tree. A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895, 545-46. (http://www.jaincollege.ac.in/jecvvp/pdf/additional-english-I-Sem-Syllabus-2019.pdf)
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Judy Brady’s Article “I Want a Wife”: Analysis. (2023, February 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-judy-bradys-article-i-want-a-wife-with-focus-on-the-responsibilities-of-the-wife/
“Judy Brady’s Article “I Want a Wife”: Analysis.” GradesFixer, 28 Feb. 2023, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-judy-bradys-article-i-want-a-wife-with-focus-on-the-responsibilities-of-the-wife/
Judy Brady’s Article “I Want a Wife”: Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-judy-bradys-article-i-want-a-wife-with-focus-on-the-responsibilities-of-the-wife/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
Judy Brady’s Article “I Want a Wife”: Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Feb 28 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-judy-bradys-article-i-want-a-wife-with-focus-on-the-responsibilities-of-the-wife/
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