Frances Sargent Osgood

27 Nov

“Call Me Pet Names” by Frances Sargent Osgood was published in 1871 in Philadelphia. It is an excellent depiction of “Desperate Housewives.” It is about a woman who is vying for attention from a man, and giving in to the conventions and expectations of American society in the 1870s. Her desperation is revealed in lines such as, “O, my sad heart is pining for one fond word!” What makes this housewife desperate is her need for her husband’s attention and approval. She wants him to love her and enjoy her company. She even tells the man that she will worship him. She states, “Let my fond worship thy being enfold./ Love me forever, and love me alone.” This housewife is desperate for her husband to love her, and only her, for forever. She is unable to feel sufficient on her own, which is the way many women thought they were supposed to feel during this time period.

Source: American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1, no. 24309

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