What Makes A House A Home

900 words - 4 pages

The two essays, “I want a wife” (Brady, 1971) and “Homeless” (Quindlen, n.d.) both resonate with readers on different levels. This essay will compare and contrast the narrative and descriptive essay forms and argue that although “I want a wife” uses humor in an effective narrative style, the imagery used in “Homeless” evokes more powerful feelings in the reader regarding stability and belonging making it a more compelling essay.
Judy Brady’s narrative style in “I want a wife” uses sarcasm quite effectively to portray her personal experience as a wife. She graphically details the conventional marital division of labor while subtly highlighting the inequities. However disparate these ...view middle of the document...

Yet, those physical objects are mere representations of more vague notions like “certainty, stability, predictability, privacy” (Quindlen, n.d.).
In her essay, Quindlen spotlights that a home represents safety, and belonging in society. Her observations that society has been moving away from permanence are insightful. It is recognizable in the current transitory nature of yesterday’s institutions. Marriages are short-lived. Jobs are stepping stones not careers. Families live in houses instead of homes. The implication is that it is not just the homeless that do not have a home these days. Individuals are walking through life as faceless nomads with no past to speak of and no future to look forward to. This concept is painful for a culture rooted in permanence and traditional values so we impersonalize those individuals that personify the movement. Quindlen notes that society hides this uncomfortable truth under instead of seeing the individuals that comprise the whole. “We turn an adjective into a noun: the poor, not poor people; thehomeless, not Ann or the man who lives in the box or the woman who sleeps on the subway grate” (Quindlen, n.d.).
While both of these essays discuss traditional values and home, they do so in vastly different ways. “I want a wife” focuses on the mechanics and operations of a household. The wife personifies the home. However, “Homeless” concentrates on the emotions that characterize a home nearly to the point of giving the house itself a living presence.
Both essays utilize the interchange of parts of speech to more effectively illustrate their points. In “Homeless”, Quindlen does this by demonstrating how society distances itself from those that do not have homes by depersonalizing...

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