Homelessness is More Appealing
ENG 121 English Composition I
Professor Beth Riley
October 23, 2013
Homelessness is More Appealing Many of us will never be homeless, and not everyone understands the benefit of having a wife, but after reading the essays’, Homeless (Quindlen, A. n.d.) and I Want a Wife (Brady, J. 1971), one can gain a better understanding of both. I am a wife. Therefore, I can certainly connect with the narrator’s story of I Want a Wife. This is a narrative essay, in which the narrator reflects on why she too would like to have a wife after a visit with a recently divorced male friend, who is looking for a new wife. The narrator gives a list of duties and activities ...view middle of the document...
How much credibility does the narrator offer. The tone of a story is set at the very beginning. The tone along with a good hook should grab the reader’s attention so they want to continue reading. For me, both essays Homeless and I Want a Wife captured my interest with the very first sentence. When the opening sentence of an essay starts with “I belong to that classification of people known as wives,” (I Want a Wife) that certainly can catch the attention of another wife. This opening drew me in because I wanted to know what she meant by this statement. The tone is set; wives are in a class of their own, and the narrator has my attention. Now, she will tell us from her point of view why she wants a wife, too.
Homeless, is similar in that it also grabs the reader just by introducing a character, location, and time of year in its brief opening sentence. However, I do think that this opening is more appealing than I Want a Wife. The details the narrator gives the reader create a clear mental image of the scene. In addition, the second sentence reveals just enough to keep the reader interested in what the narrator has to say, “I was doing a story on homeless people,” (Homeless, para 1). Again, the tone is set; it is January at the bus terminal where the narrator, who is doing research on homeless people, meets such a person, Ann. It is also in the first sentence we know it is the narrator’s story as she describes her experience and conversation with Ann. With the narrator sharing her experience and conversation with the reader, she has invited them into her story making it more personal.
Another similarity between these two essays is the author’s use of appropriate language for the material, the audience, and the year of publication. I Want a Wife, written in 1971, was a period when the feminist movement was active. Women were looking for equality in the work place but also at home. The essay, published in the magazine Ms., makes me believe the writer’s original target audience is that of other wives, future wives, and anyone else who reads Ms. Magazine. Her simple statements, or as I like to call it, her laundry list as to why it would be great if she had a wife, are easy to relate to as many of us perform these duties on a daily basis.
In Homeless, the setting of the story, January at the bus terminal, leaves it to the reader’s imagination of the year. The topic of the essay, homeless people, is timeless as it is has been an ongoing problem for decades. The language the narrator uses is simplistic yet descriptively concise. It still gives enough detail to help you feel connected to what the narrator is saying. You can feel her emotions through her words. I believe her target audience is everyone. As the narrator states, “[We] walk around it when it is lying on the sidewalk or sitting in the bus terminal—the problem, that is.” She is playing upon the reader’s emotions by pointing out how many people ignore the problem even when we come...