Married Man’s Fare and Bachelor’s Fare

27 Nov

These two poems, written by unknown American authors, each exemplify “Desperate Housewives” of American poetry. “Married Man’s Fare” was published in 1840. In the poem, the married man’s wife’s duty is described as “promoting his comfort, dispelling dejection with smiles of affection, and sympathizing.  The wife’s job, according to this poem, is to make her husband happy. This relates to “Desperate Housewives” because the woman has no life of her own. According to this poem, her sole purpose is to cater to her husband and his needs.  “Bachelor’s Fare” was also published in 1840. In this poem, on the other hand, the wife is described as annoying her husband. It states, “A wife, like a cannister, chattering, clattering… hurries and worries him until he is dead.” As opposed to the wife in “Married Man’s Fare,” the wife in this poem is a burden to her husband. There is no appreciation shown for the wife. Between the two poems, women are depicted as either annoying their husbands, or devoting themselves fully and only to their husbands. These two poems represent “Desperate Housewives” because although they depict two different types of wives, both of the wives they depict are subordinate to the men of the household.

Source (Married Man’s Fare): American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1, no. 5587

Source (Bachelor’s Fare): American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1, no. 5565

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