John Haley Bellamy

27 Nov

J.H. Bellamy, although a male poet, depicts the “Desperate Housewife” in his poem, “Little Wife.” This poem was published in 1865 in New Hampshire. Before reading the poem, it is clear just from the title that Bellamy is diminishing his wife by calling her “little.” Throughout the poem, this housewife is depicted as someone who simply fixes buttons on clothing, provides her husband with kisses, and greets her husband when he comes home. This artifact represents “Desperate Housewives” because it is about a woman who is being suffocated by her domestic roles. In fact, the descriptions of the wife only reveal ways in which she helps her husband. This makes it seem as though the speaker only views his wife as his own support. The wife in the poem is not described as being anywhere outside the confines of the household, which was typically expected of women during this time period. This poem reflects the expectations of women that were held by the majority of males in society during this time before the women’s rights movement.


Source: American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1, no. 1117

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