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From an analytical view, “The Wife” assists in softening the reader’s view of the stereotyping subjected to Dame Van Winkle by Irving through the different roles attributed to the wives with respect to their marriages. In “The Wife”, the women are viewed to enjoy domestic life in which the wife projects sublimity to her marriage and is viewed as the hero of the home. The relationship between the wife and her husband is viewed as mutually dependent whereby the woman is fully committed to ensuring that she meets her husband’s needs and to feel that she is needed in her home. Irving states, “that woman, who is the mere dependent and ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace when smitten with sudden calamity,” (627). Marriage is presented as a source of empowerment for the woman such that she takes pride in being submissive to her husband and taking care of the home. In describing the commitment, Irving states, “winding herself into the rugged recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head, and binding up the broken heart,” (627).
Dame Van Winkle is completely opposite to the woman in the “The Wife” in which the contrast indicates the softening of the reader’s view of the stereotyping subjected to Dame Van Winkle. Instead of submitting or being mutually dependent on her husband, Dame Van Winkle is depicted as a nagging wife who is consistently on Ri…
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