I Want a Wife

I Want a Wife

Marriage is one of the key institutions of the society. In a marriage, a husband and a wife commit to living and carrying out duties together. However, this is not always the case. The woman is expected to perform all duties including cooking, doing laundry, taking the kids out and even dealing with the husband’s social, physical and sexual needs while the man is left free without any responsibilities. Through her essay “I Want a Wife”, Judy Brady uses a serious yet humorous tone to describe the duties that a wife is expected to carry out. While writing in the persona of a wife, the author explains why she would like to have a wife.

One of the styles Brady employs in the essay is the use of repetition. She uses repetition to reinforce her message and portray the character of a husband. Brady consistently describes what she needs in her wife and the responsibilities the spouse should perform. In the third paragraph she says, “And while I am going to school, I want a wife to take care of my children. I want a wife to keep track of the children’s doctor and appointments and to keep track of mine, too” (Brady, 1993). She repeats “I want” to emphasize that a wife is supposed to do all these duties. Brady paints a picture of a person who will content almost all of his desires, wants and wishes of a man. However, the husband is not assigned any responsibilities nor does he share any of the wife’s duties.

Brady is sarcastic when listing all the tasks of a wife, and she does not believe that a wife should perform all the work alone. The repetition of the word “I” is used to show the husband’s selfish personality. He wants everything done for him while he attends school to study and meet friends. She states that

“I want a wife who will take care of the details of my social life. When my wife and I are `invited out by my friends, I want a wife who will take care of the babysitting arrangements. When I meet people at school that I like and want to entertain, I want a wife who will have the house clean, will prepare a special meal, serve it to my friend, and not interrupt when I talk about things that interest me and my friends” (Brady, 1993).

The husband sees the wife more as a tool to carry out all the talks rather than a helper. By listing the jobs of a wife, Brady creates a new perspective on the duties of a wife from a man’s point of view.

Brady’s description of the traditional role of women and the societal stereotyping of women aims at provoking sympathy and reasoning so that wives can experience equality in the modern society (1993). Through the use of repetition, the essay portrays a picture of how the society treats women and passes a message to men and women who may find themselves in a similar state. Similarly, I will use repetition to reach out to my audience. I will write from a first-person point of view when sharing my viewpoint on the subject. I will repeat words such as “I” to draw the readers attention. Also, I will incorporate other styles including irony, satire and hyperboles to reach out to my audience.




Brady, J. (1993). Literature for Composition (3rd ed.). (S. Barnet, M. Berman, W. Burto, & M. Stubbs, Eds.) HarperCollins Custom Books.