Poems on Marriage

29 Nov

This artifact was published in Boston in 1832. The poems “Single, Married, and Married Happy” and “The Wife for Me” each depict the idea of “Desperate Housewives” because they articulate the superficial qualities in wives that many men of this time period desired. For example, in “Single, Married, and Married Happy,” the narrator states that few men live better than a bachelor, which reveals that he believes the men without wives are the happiest and most content. Next, the narrator lists the attributes of wives that men desire: ease, grace, a pretty walk, a nice figure, and an attractive face. The speaker states that he would like his own wife to be sincere and to love him dearly. The qualifications for a wife that the speaker lists are all vain and belittling. He reveals that what the majority of men desire in a wife is physical beauty. “The Wife for Me” expresses a similar desire, as the speaker of this poem wants a wife who will talk with him, be kind, and smile. He wants her to take care of him when he’s sick and share in his joy, and kiss him. In both poems, the speakers reveal that the men of the time period want the same thing out of a wife- attraction. This artifact fits into the category of “Desperate Housewives” because the speakers of the poem demonstrate that many men only desire a physical body and a woman who take care of them.

Source: American Broadsides and Ephemera Series I. no. 4224

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