We often don’t think about the huge amount of work that goes into being a mother and a housewife. In today’s society, we seem to devalue or underestimate the hard work of people who fit this category. Bonnie Smith-Yackel in “My Mother Never Worked” and Judy Brady in “I Want a Wife” both used the theme of “women’s work” to talk about the roles women uphold in society, but from different settings and different eras in time. The expectations on women in regard to their roles and duties in society still sparks conversation in today’s society and these two essays help to weigh in on the discussion. The two essays shed light on women’s roles and societal expectations by challenging and provoking thought by giving us a view through the experience of the writer while also being different in many ways such as in time period, setting, and the way they deliver their points
In both pieces of literature, diverse duties of women are extensively explored. Additionally, the two essays talk about the expectation of women who are housewives and mothers in a societal context. The recital in “I want a wife” (Brady) explores the duties of housewives and mothers in a descriptive manner. It explores how the mother is expected to have duties like laundry washing, house cleaning, cooking, looking after the children, and mending the clothes. In a similar dimension, “My Mother Never Worked” (Smith-Yackel) also explains the duties of a mother. However, the author explains such duties by only particularizing on the scope of what her biological mother’s duties consisted of. The author elaborates on the duties of her mother not limited to home duties like washing clothes, cleaning the house, cooking, looking after the children and husband, but also to other duties. The author extensively explores increased duties like farm duties that her mother had to do. These include raising flocks of chickens, feeding the pigs, milking the cows, planting and also harvesting the gardens.
In both narratives, some degree of irony is experienced throughout the literary work. In “My Mother Never Worked” (Smith-Yackel), it is ironic that the government would only consider those who worked in government-related jobs or business jobs as employees and not those who have been outsourced by house, farm, and family errands. “I want a wife” (Brady) possess a speech that the author uses to add a little humor and to amplify a judgment of what man’s perception is on women’s roles. The author supports the male perspective on women’s roles. However, it is realized that the author is a female when she sends a message to all the male audience, a description of coercing a faultless wife in their upcoming life. She argues that women should do too much through listing their roles in society. She later emphasizes the wrongful and absurd expectations placed on women in society.
The author in “My mother never worked” discusses this differently. She explains how a mother represents a role that cannot be easily be taught. She describes motherhood as being the most ticklish job that the world ignores. Diverse sentiments shared by the author aspire to explore certain degree of emotions. The author sticks to her point in addressing gender inequality within a societal context. She talks about the sacrifices that women are required to have. Additionally, the author extensively provides a universal ground for discussion on women’s roles as well as the recognition they deserve. Her arguments possess some form of criticism to the government because the government does not recognize women for their efforts. The literature possesses some level of entertainment and can be espied diversely by different audiences depending on their relationship with their parents. The author’s intentions are to provide the audience with an understanding of sacrifice and long-time commitment like child upkeep.
Contrary in “I want a wife” the author petitions to demonstrate her credibility as a woman. The author primarily discusses women’s roles from her experience. She explores the jobs meant for women. She hunts to indirectly support the duties that women are entitled within the societal context. Her arguments are barely or more directed to the feminine gender. She decrees the audience to get angry and feel emotional with regards to gender inequality. Despite mentioning women’s duties, she also emphasizes the wrongful view of women through criticizing the male gender. She implements certain methods to point out the selfishness of the husband and men who picture a wife that would entitle anything for them. Reiterating of plentiful words used within the article shows how the author pictures a prejudiced part of men’s perspective on their wives’ roles.
In conclusion, some emotional and logical stances have been used to explain one’s views with regards to the discussion on women’s roles and expectations in society. Additionally, the reader will be able to relate after being able to read such literary work as it was presented. Certain similarities, as well as differences, can be grasped in “My mother never worked” (Smith-Yackel) and “I want a wife” (Judy Brady). The most interesting part of this review is being able to view the similarities of two pieces of work from two different points in time that essentially focus on the same issue. This essay, therefore, provides a universal exploration of both their similarities and differences with regards to the work and expectations of women in a societal setting.