Relationship between man and woman and their complications, this is the theme of the three texts “Why I want a wife” by Judy Brady, “Love must not be forgotten” by Zhang Jie, and “In the end, we are all light”, by Liz Rosenberg (1986). The first text is a satire of the roles of wife as ideally enumerated by the author. The second is an exploration of representation, gender, sexuality, and female autonomy (Gillette, 2003). In the last text, the status of love and sacrifice between man and woman is emphasized. Among the three texts however, Brady’s work is most effective in conveying her thoughts about relationship and roles between man and woman in marriage particularly.
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In "Why I Want a Wife," Brady (1993) offers criteria for an ideal wife, which could be both hypothetical and real. Situations and obligations of a wife were narrated mockingly explaining why would a man want for a wife after separation from one. The presentation was done bluntly underlying a sarcastic definition. The language used has a satirical edge highlighting both the author’s emphasis on certain modifiers (indicated by italics) and in the surface structure of the sentences, which belies the underlying criticisms. The criticism was done without exactly saying that the treatment is wrong rather it was implied as the list of work expected in a wife goes on. Through this writing technique, Brady was able to connect to the readers her views and stand on the societal expectation among women in general as they enter marriage. Furthermore, the writing technique proved to be efficient in drawing all possible connotations and denotations of how society in general defined women’s role in matrimony. Though not explicitly described, the author also allowed the readers to see what is lacking in the portrayed relationship.
Working on the theme of gender roles in marriage, the author enumerated and illustrated the flaws of the common belief, norms and standards of treating women in societal institutions.
The author of the “Why I want a wife” did not try to deny the sarcasm she clearly feels on the issue of gender roles and obligations in the society. This and other societal issues on women were collectively and effectively presented in this single simple rhetorical work.
Given the effective use of language, theme and content, Brady was able to connect to the reader in a manner that anyone who happens to read the text can analytically realize the depth of the issues covered in the text without even questioning the validity of the context in time frame. The issues explored in the text can bridge the time consideration. What is true then is also an issue at present. This among others is the reason why the text had managed to come in several reprints from the time when feminism is still fresh up to the present times.
Having the imagination to discuss feminist concerns, which stands through time, gives the text its appeal among the readers through time. The theme has been universally considered in context such that using language in her own technique, readers in any part of the world can relate to the issue being presented.
“Love must not be forgotten” by Zhang Jie is culturally defined, hence will not be appealing to other parts of the world. Without prior knowledge on the cultural setting of the text, Jie’s work is not universally applicable. The poem “In the End, we are all light”, by Liz Rosenberg is a clear manifestation of love as a factor in the existence of relationships between man and woman.
The choice of theme, approach, content and form differentiated the text from the other two texts. Brady’s satirical approach effectively calls the attention of the readers to consider the issues presented.
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