Women have often dealt with the double standard when it came down to the difference between men and women. In fact, women only gained their right to vote in Canada in 1929; excluding the province of Quebec. Men are usually seen to be the superior sex, and also the leaders of significant matters. However, women on the other hand tend to be followers, or the lesser version of a man. “A Jury of Her Peers” written by Susan Glaspell is a short story that deals with this moral issue. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are called into an investigation with their spouses for the murder of their neighbor, Mr. Wright. The men go upstairs to find a motive to convict Mrs. Wright, and ask the two women to stay in the kitchen. The women are seen to be inadequate and are unable to find clues, therefor they stay where they belong; ironically, the women find the only clue that could convict Mrs. Wright for the murder. This paper will examine the significance of women’s role, and the relationship between women and men in a patriarchal society.
Glaspell wrote her story in 1917, and women were looked at differently then than they are today. In those days, women were the house keeper; keeping the house extra tidy and taking extra good care of their spouse. When Mr. Hale walked into the house, Mrs. Wright was sitting on her rocking chair and making sure her pleats on her apron were perfect. Her house was in complete chaos; and the men mocked her for that, stating she was “not much of a housekeeper” (p.382). The importance here is that the men paid attention to the house being untidy, and instead of blaming the current situation, or both the Wrights, they blamed it on the wife. They made her ought to be a bad wife, and even worse, a bad woman. For, at tha...
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... yet, they were unable to find one single clue. They made the women feel inadequate, and unqualified to help them in their search for clues. It was ironic that the men kept laughing at Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters throughout the story, and how everything to them was a trifle. Also, it is important to take note of the first thing these women noticed: the quilt; and it was because of that simple finding that led them to the final clue. The men chuckled at the first sight of this quilt, and at the end when they came to the realization that there lacked any trace. Ultimately, the credit belongs to Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peters for finding this clue, and in other words; the women did a much better job than the men did for this significant matter.
A Jury of Her Peers. By: Susan Glaspell, Introduction to Literature: Poetry, Drama and Fiction; Pearson Custom Library.
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