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Help Wanted Someone to Watch Over Me

There she goes again, fluttering around the house like a beautiful butterfly. My father’s

wife was the “Donna Reed” of wives. Wonder Woman would have cringed in fear by the very

Write your Help Wanted: Someone to Watch Over Me research paper

presence of my father’s wife. This woman was able to take care of her household in one single

bound. There were no limits to this wife’s talents, abilities, and lastly, responsibilities. This all

powerful wife is my mother. As I look back, she was more like a busy little worker bee, tending

to all who needed her, while still being just as beautiful and graceful as a butterfly. Growing up in

this household, it seemed quite natural for mom to do everything for her precious family. She

wanted to be the perfect wife and mother. It seemed to bring her much joy when she was cooking,

cleaning, doing yard work or helping with homework, nursing us back to health when we were ill,

or just going grocery shopping. I have always wondered though, why she never brought us along

with her to the market? Of course, this viewpoint came from a small ignorant child. None the

less, mom was a natural and she excelled in everything she did for her family. I never heard her

complain about her workload, but I often wondered if she felt overloaded. Was her stress level to

the point of no return? Because the memories of my “super human” mother are so prevalent, I

was very intrigued when I read Judy Brady’s essay about wanting a wife. I was even more

intrigued by her insinuation that everyone could benefit by having a wife. I find Brady’s writing

techniques and her appeal to her audience makes for a very persuasive view point. However,

Brady seems to rely mostly on her first hand experiences, which might not be enough to persuade

her readers.

“I Want a Wife” is Judy Brady’s attempt at persuading the men and women of the world

that if they want to maintain a happy, stress free lifestyle, they need to find someone to take care

of them. Mrs. Brady uses the rhetorical patterns of process analysis with some illustration,

classification, cause/effect, and mainly emotional appeal to take her stand.

Brady classifies herself as a wife and mother very early in her essay (41). However, she

fails to mention how long she has been married or how many children she has.

Brady illustrates that she has a male friend who has recently divorced and is now looking

for a new wife. Brady was thinking about her friend’s predicament one night and she realized that

she too, would like to have a wife (41).

After proclaiming that she would like to have a wife, Brady uses process analysis to show

us what chores she would have her wife do for her and how to do them. Brady states that she

would like to go back to school to better herself financially, but in order to accomplish this, she

would have to have someone to take over all of her responsibilities as a wife and mother (41).

The author uses the phrase “I want a wife” repetitively (1 times) to keep the audiences attention

and stress the importance of her work. Brady gives detailed examples of chores she expects her

wife to accomplish. Brady states, “I want a wife who will work and send me to school. And

while I am going to school I want a wife to take care of my children.” She goes on to say “I want

a wife who will take care of my physical needs. I want a wife who will keep my house clean, pick

up after me and the children, cook for us, wash our clothes, and know where everything is just in

case I need something” (41). I feel that Brady is talking from her own personal experiences as a

wife herself. She gives many examples that are very specific in nature as to what she wants her

wife to do.

Brady’s tone throughout her essay is one of resentment filled with sarcasm. Brady states,

“I want a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a wife’s duties. But I want

a wife who will listen to me when I feel the need to explain a rather difficult point I have come

across in my course of studies” (41). She seems to almost dare her readers to deny that they

wouldn’t benefit from having a wife.

Although Brady didn’t use any specific cause and effect strategies in her essay, I feel that I

picked up on one. I feel that what caused Brady to want a wife was that her duties as a wife and

mother consumed her. I feel maybe she feels under appreciated for all that she does for her

family. Maybe her family wants too much.

I feel that Brady uses good description in her essay. She describes so vividly her

expectations of a wife, her readers just might agree with her. However, I found two fallacies in

this essay that may detract from it’s effectiveness. Brady asserts that everyone would benefit

from having a wife (414). This is allness. This can’t be true for everyone since there are people

who believe that they already have the perfect, stress free lifestyle. Brady also stereotypes the

role of a wife. This is prevalent throughout the whole essay. I also sense that Brady may be over

simplifying the issue in her essay. Would it be much easier to go out and get a wife to take care

of the household, children and spouse than to come together as a family and divide up the


Brady appeals to the emotion in her readers. She makes us stop and think how we would

feel if we had someone to satisfy our every need. Someone to have on hand to pamper and baby

us whenever we beckoned. I think that Brady’s best emotional appeal is written in the last

sentence of her essay, “My God, who wouldn’t want a wife” (414)?

In conclusion, although Brady has a couple of fallacies within her essay, she has been

semi-successful in her persuasion because of the techniques she chose to use. Brady was not

successful in persuading me to join her in wanting a wife, however, I discussed this essay with my

mother and I asked her the simple question, “What would you do with a wife?” My mother’s

reply, “Rest my dear, rest!”

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