Donya Pittman English III Period 2 Aug, 25, 10 ‘I Want a Wife’ A In 1971 when the essay “I Want A Wife” was written it was the height of the feminist movement. During this time women were rising and speaking out about the classification of themselves as second class citizens to men. Inspired by the recent amendment giving women the right to vote, which was in the 1940’s, Judy Brady, wrote the satirical essay ” I Want a Wife”. The purpose of the essay is to give a blatant unfair depiction of the conditions of the common “wife” during this time.
Brady uses the male view-point and their inherent selfishness to persuade her audience which is both single and married women but Brady also tries to reach out to the husband audience by trying to get them to see how self-centered the expectations of the common wife is. By reveling how repressed men are making women they might try for a change. Brady’s argument is effective because of her use of ethos logos and pathos. In the beginning of the essay Brady establishes a sense of credibility by showing that she herself is a wife.
Brady, establishing herself as a wife is immensely important to get her audience’s attention and respect because she has firsthand experience in what it is like to be a woman and a wife during this time. Since her audience is mainly married and unmarried women Brady makes herself approachable as a writer with some authority on the topic of the unjustness of the common marriage. With this leading use of ethos, Brady not only gives her writing integrity, she also successfully gets the audiences respect and that opens them up to being susceptible to her argument.
Brady’s use of pathos is also a huge part of why her argument is so greatly accepted. Being that no one, not even a woman, would like to be treated as described in the essay Brady conveys a plethora of emotions for the reader. She tells and even over exaggerates the stresses of everyday life and the unrealistic, selfish and servant like expectations for the wife of a husband. Brady, knowing that her audience is mainly women, targets in on the buried frustrations of the overwhelming responsibilities placed upon them giving them the inspiration for the change Brady is arguing for.
Another important device that Brady subjects the audience to is logos. Through the passage Brady tells of the drastic measures wives are expected to go through. The expectations that are place are so extremely unrealistic and improbable with just one wife that the reader can see the illogical expectations for what they are. The repletion of “I want” shows the audience the selfishness and gets them to see that husbands can’t have everything they want and that while it’s a nice idea to have a servant as a wife is not a healthy relationship but more of slavery.
In conclusion, Brady successfully conveys her argument using ethos, logos and pathos. She also uses sarcasm to prove her point of view regarding the selfishness of men towards women. In the article “I want” is used more than 15 times. The repletion is a clear sign of that selfishness she tells of men displaying toward women. Brady’s style encourages action from women and even men to stop and think of women as equals to their partners and to not have such heavy burdens but to share the weight.