Girl and I Want a Wife Essay

907 WordsFeb 3, 20134 Pages
In “I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, both Brady and Kincaid analyze women’s traditional roles in a similar manner. Although each author examines women and their role in society, they have different perspectives on these roles. Brady and Kincaid present their beliefs using different stylistic devices which contribute to differences in their tones. Brady’s piece conveys a sardonic tone towards the role of a wife, while Kincaid’s piece is demanding on how a daughter should act in order to become a good wife. The authors’ similar ideas, yet different approaches, reveal their contrasting views on the same topic. First, the most frequently used stylistic device seen in both “I Want a Wife” and “Girl” is repetition. Using repetition, Brady achieves a sarcastic tone by repeating the phrase “I want a wife,” (274-276). She writes about the needs of men and how wives do it all, listing off stereotypical demands of marriage like “I want a wife who will wash, clean, and care of the children, (274-275). The speaker feels that men do not appreciate this work. By repeating “I want a wife” in almost every sentence, the author clarifies the many things a man expects and how ridiculous and overwhelming the amount wanted is. Even though she herself is a wife, she says she wants a wife to do all of these chores for her (274). Brady repeats “I want a wife who will…” to identify what a proper wife is supposed to do. Repetition enhances her sarcastic tone because after all that is expected of a wife, she says, “My God, who wouldn’t want a wife,” (276) in the final sentence, meaning even an actual wife would want someone to do as much as she does. Similarly, repetition is prominent in “Girl” as well. Unlike Brady’s sarcastic, tone, Kincaid’s tone is instructive. The girl in Kincaid’s piece is expected to behave in a certain manner as shown

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