Sarah Orne Jewett House

Tom’s Husband (1882)

In this story, a wife and husband trade traditional gender work roles.

Mary Dunn, the wife, has a talent for business and succeeds at it; Tom Dunn, is increasingly isolated and lost:

“…he lost his interest in things outside the house and grounds; he felt himself fast growing rusty and behind the times, and to have somehow missed a good deal in life; he had a suspicion that he was a failure. One day the thought rushed over him that his had been almost exactly the experience of most women, and he wondered if it really was any more disappointing and ignominious to him than it was to women themselves.” -Sarah Orne Jewett (“Tom’s Husband”)

Eventually, husband Tom wants to call off the switch. Mary acquiesces.