“A Young Housewife” by William Carlos Williams deserves a second reading. The poet tricks the reader into thinking this is just a poem about a woman in a house wearing a negligee. There is much more to the poem than the surface level.
The deception for the reader comes in two ways: Is this a daydream of the man who passes by and sees the lady or does this really scene really happen with the man acknowledging the woman at the end of the poem?
The tone of the poem is lustful, listful, and derisive. The mood wavers as the poem changes setting and the speaker changes moods. This is the speaker’s poem rather than the woman’s. It is his fantasy or reality according to the decision of the reader.
The woman is bound to her husband. This is not her house but his. The implication is that the wife does not have any ownership or responsibilities other than to...
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