Judy Brady’s narrative style in “I want a wife” uses sarcasm quite effectively to portray her experience as a wife. Brady graphically details the conventional marital division of labor while subtly highlighting the inequities. However disparate these spousal duties seem to be, they form a nearly universal representation of a traditional household. Brady enumerates all the elements of a working household: the cooking, cleaning, organizing, scheduling and nurturing of family. The author clearly implies that without a wife, the household would cease to function. Also, that the very label of “wife” brings with it all the duties and responsibilities listed.
Throughout the essay, only action words are used in relation to the wife. In fact, it is as if the word “wife” were actually a verb instead of a noun. The wife in question will work, pay, wash, mend, arrange, clean, iron, and plan. The one thin...
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...omeless” echoes our most fundamental needs and beseeches our aid. By definition, the narrative essay is a retelling of an event or experience whereas a descriptive essay draws on detailed imagery to forge a connection with the subject matter. The careful use of language and symbolism in descriptive writing serves to quickly engage the reader in the topic. In contrast, Brady’s narration feels impersonal which allows the reader to remain disengaged. For these reasons, “Homeless” is the more compelling essay.
Brady, J. (1971). I want a wife. Retrieved from http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/everythingsanargument4e/content/cat_020/Brady_I_Want_a_Wife.pdf
Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2014). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gestalt
Quindlen, A. (n.d.). Homeless. Retrieved from http://pers.dadeschools.net/prodev/homelesstext.htm
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