Reading Quiz on 'Why I Want a Wife' by Judy Brady

A Multiple-Choice Review Quiz

Judy Brady's definition of a wife--which appears in our Essay Sampler: Models of Good Writing (Part 3)--was first published in the feminist magazine Ms in December 1971. Since then, it has been widely reprinted.

After reading the essay, take this short quiz, and then compare your responses with the answers on page two.



  1. According to Judy Brady in the essay “Why I Want a Wife,” what sparked in her the realization that she, too, "would like to have a wife”?
    (A) a quarrel with her husband
    (B) an encounter with a male friend fresh from a recent divorce
    (C) an argument with her parents
    (D) a run-in with an old girl friend who still hadn’t married
    (E) a recent divorce, which left her with five children to raise on her own

  1. In the opening sentences of "Why I Want a Wife," the author classifies herself according to two roles that she plays. What are those roles?
    (A) wife and husband
    (B) mother and daughter
    (C) wife and worker
    (D) wife and mother
    (E) slave and mistress

  2. In the essay “Why I Want a Wife,” which one of the following items does Judy Brady not say that she wants?
    (A) the liberty to replace my present wife with another one
    (B) a wife who will take care of the details of my social life
    (C) a wife who is sensitive to my sexual needs
    (D) a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a wife’s duties
    (E) a wife who will make so much money that I will never have to work again

  3. In the essay “Why I Want a Wife,” which one of the following desires does the author state directly?
    (A) I want a wife who will work and send me to school.
    (B) I want my husband to earn more money.
    (C) I want my wife to go back to school.
    (D) I want my mother to stop telling me how to raise my children.
    (E) I want to be single again.

  1. What is the final line of Judy Brady's essay "Why I Want a Wife"?
    (A) My God, who wouldn't want a wife?
    (B) I want to be single again.
    (C) I want a wife who will leave me alone.
    (D) My God, why would anyone want to be a wife?
    (E) Dear God, why am I a wife?

Answers to the Reading Quiz on "Why I Want a Wife" by Judy Brady


  1. (B) an encounter with a male friend fresh from a recent divorce
  2. (D) wife and mother
  3. (E) a wife who will make so much money that I will never have to work again
  4. (A) I want a wife who will work and send me to school.
  5. (A) My God, who wouldn't want a wife?