Judy Brady in “ I want a wife” and Jamaica Kincaid in “Girl” both analyze women’s traditional roles, although they have different perspectives on these roles, they both seem to have the same message: What role does a woman play in our society? In Kincaid’s “Girl” story starts with a dialog between a mother and a daughter, in which a mother is teaching her daughter the expectations of a woman in society. ” I want a wife” describes duties of a wife , represented in such a way to show Brady’s unsatisfying views f unfair roles of men and a woman.
Throughout history and in all cultures the role of a woman would always come down to the same expectations. In Kincaid’s”Girl”mother is teaching her daughter, that is becoming a woman, how to behave like a lady. By saying “ on Sunday try to walk like a lady and not like a slut you are so bent on becoming; don’t sing benna on Sunday school”(p.
192). Based on the passage we can conclude that “benna” is some kind of inappropriate music, therefore a well-behaved girl is not to engage in such activity.
Another example of “this is how you iron your father’s khaki shirt so that it doesn’t have a crease;”. With this Kincaid is telling us that a women always serves a man, first her father as a girl , and than her husband as a married woman. In Brady’s “ I want a wife”, she is describing the role of a women in our society.
The role that didn’t change all that much since the times when a woman was expected to take care of the house –hold only. Today women work, but they are in charged of house-holds, children, and their husbands too. Brady’s constant use of the word “wife” all throughout he essay, is an attempt to persuade her readers to think of a “wife” as a synonym to maid, doctor, chef, sex slave; which goes back to the description of women’s role. An example of this is seen in following passage:
“I want a wife who will keep my house clean. A wife who will pick up after my children, wife who will pick up after me. I want a wife who will keep my clothes clean, ironed, mended, replaced when need to be, and who will see to it that my personal things are kept in their proper place so that I can find what I need the minute I need it” (p. 80). Both Kincaid and Brady use a commanding tones. In “Girl” Kincaid is providing us with a dialog between mother and daughter, which resembles more to a one-sided story , because the mother is instructing lessons to her daughter. The same tone can be recognized in Brady’s “I need a wife”. They both use repetition to make their ideas stronger and standout further. They both describe relationships. Brady’s man and woman and Kincaid’s mother and daughter relationship, but most importantly they illustrate the image of a woman in a society.
Brady and Kincaid are trying to demonstrate the role of a woman within a culture as unappreciated and taken for granted. They are trying to show how hard it is to be a women, living in men world, always struggling in finding their own identities in a shadow of a man. It seems that a woman’s life consist of endless chores that they must perform. Brady, Judy. “I want a wife. ” The Little Brown Reader. 11th ed. Kincaid, Jamaica. “Girl” The little Brown Reader. 11th ed.