ENG 1101 Fall 2021 0277

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  • 11/16 Discussion questions the essay "I Want a Wife"
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    Prof. Masiello

    ATTENTION: If you email me, I can snd you a clearer, highlighted version of the document below. It is also in Docs, but the version I would send is easier to read!

    Discussion of Class Readings Theme: Men and Women

    Please post brief answers to as many of these questions as possible.

    All students will be writing about all six readings for the next essay – which has not yet been assigned, so you should read the selections and respond to the discussions (which are what we would have done in a real classroom setting).

    Right now, we are discussing three of the six. More questions on the other stories will follow in a couple of days.

    Press Ctrl + click or cut and paste into your browser to open hyperlinks for 1 through 6

    1) An essay by Judy Syfers called “Why I Want a Wife”

    a) What is the writer saying essentially: why does she want a wife? Is it because wants a same-sex relationship or is it something else?

    b) This is an example of satire. Please look up “satire.” Do you think her essay is a successful exposé of what husbands expect?

    Is it funny or dated (it was written 50 years ago during the height of the Women’s Rights movement)?

    Is what it says about husbands offensive or is it a criticism of what women actually put up with?

    c) Notice what she says about what is expected when a family goes on vacation: whose children are being taken care of? (Notice the power of one word: is it “our” or “my”?


    Prof. Masiello



    Daniela S

    1. I don’t think she’s explaining what she wants, more like speaking from a mans perspective.
    2. Yes, I truly believe she wrote this essay to expose what men truly look for in a women.
    3. 1910
    4. I believe it is both offense and criticism towards the female because we aren’t made to be your mother, just you partner who should be giving and receiving the same energy.
    5. She uses “MY” instead of “our” just to show how selfish men can be (sorry professor cause you’re a man, but for what it’s worth these men in my generation are terrible).



    The writer is saying she wants a wife because wives are seen as servants and mothers to their husband’s needs

    I agree that this is satire and do think her essay showcases what husbands are allowed to get away with. The hardships of marriage are always put on the women they are expected to keep the relationship together.

    I don’t think it’s funny for most women unfortunately they still experience being mothers to grown men who aren’t even their children. I heard lots of unfortunate stories where older women are telling younger women when married to hide things of value and how an expensive wedding ring is important to marriage because you could pawn it afterward. Especially since women were forced to be so dependent on men. Luckily now women can also work and don’t need men for survival. I feel women now can live whatever lifestyle they want without needing to rely on spouses; it can be an option.

    It’s a criticism that women are expected to hold the house by themselves even when there are 2 parents. Something I have noticed even within my parents is that my mother did it all; she cooked, cleaned, and worked while also taking care of me and my 5 siblings. My dad often just worked and played with us but the important stuff was all handled by mom until she realized she was a single parent in a relationship. If you felt offended by the story then maybe look inward because there wasn’t a lie told.

    Instead of “our” children she says “my” which makes it sound like the children belong to the husbands and wives are just their nannies.



    1) The writer is saying that she wants a wife because of what are wives capable of doing. I don’t think is her wanting to have a same-sex relationship, I think she just wants someone to serve her.
    2) Yes, because the writer is writing and exposing everything about the men and how they treated the women.
    3) This could be dated around the 1900s or mid-1900s.
    4) I don’t believe this is funny because mothers are strongly working hard while the men are criticizing the women, it’s just not right since they don’t deserve such disrespect. If the women weren’t forced to marry those men, the women can easily survive on their own without needing a husband to live life since the men can’t really live without a wife. The wives deserve something more honorable compare to those who aren’t as respected just like how the writer wrote her essay about them.
    5) Instead of “our” to kind of show that something related doesn’t really belong to her but she decides to use “MY” when something she actually owns really thinks is her own thing.


    Jaheim Wilson

    1) The writer wants a wife mainly because of the duties they can perform, and their overall flexibility in doing those tasks. I also believe that the writer is talking from a man’s perspective.

    2) I absolutely believe this is satire. This essay exposes what most men really seek from women.

    3) I believe this is dated around the 1900s.

    4) I don’t think this is funny whatsoever. I can’t imagine how tiring it must be to perform all those duties and then get criticized by their husbands. They have my utmost respect and sympathies for what they have to put up with.

    5) I believe it’s both. Just looking at all those expectations forced on Women makes me nauseous. It truly shows how much they go through. And what men expect of them.

    6) Instead of “our” she uses “my” kids to show that wives are mainly looked at as objects in relationships.


    Osman Hassan

    a) What is the writer saying essentially: why does she want a wife? Is it because wants a same-sex relationship or is it something else?
    The writer says she wants a wife because of what men expect them to do, which is everything, and by writing it in this manner she exposes these unrealistic/unfair expectations.

    b) I believe it was successful because as I was reading it, it quickly started to sound ridiculous, but at the same time, I know these are real expectations that men have. This piece still holds up to this day and is a fair criticism of the expectations husbands have and what women have to put up with. It should not seem offensive since her claims are based in reality.

    c) The use of “my” signifies the ownership the husband feels that he has. He feels he has the right and utmost authority to tell his wife what to do with their children, making it seem like it’s HIS children.


    Dmitry Terentyev

    (a) The author is criticizing the society’s expectations of women as wives. So she is essentially just narrating everything that is expected of wives.

    (b) I believe she has done an exceptional job at expressing her concerns regarding wife’s duties expected from husbands.

    (c) To me, it is neither funny nor dated, because it is still quite real and still happens. While a lot of people are changing, there are still a large number of people who assign such full time duties to women as wives.

    (d) I do not think that any husband who has a regard for their wife’s sentiments would be offended by it because it was actually what women had to face in that era.

    (e) The use of ‘my children’ instead of ‘our’ implies that the wife is only expected to serve everyone in the family instead of enjoying with her family on the vacation.

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