"a jury of her peers" research paper

785 Words4 Pages
Throughout history, a plethora of different classes of people, cultures, and races have undergone some form of prejudice. Partiality against women has occurred, and continues to occur, in America. Susan Glaspell, author of "A Jury of her Peers," depicts a story of a close-knit community in the process of solving the mystery of a man's death, thought to be caused by his wife. In the investigation of Mr. Wright’s death, the women helping to search through the Wright farm for clues pointing to evidence of Minnie Wright’s murder of her husband were thought of as useless, when in reality, the women were solely responsible for finding and understanding Mrs. Wright's motives for murdering her husband. Glaspell uses imagery and a woman's point of view to depict how a woman may feel bound by limits set by society--- a feeling most easily understood by women who share the same perception of life.
Glaspell authored this feminist short story, now considered a classic and studied in many institutions of higher education, in 1917, a story that underwent reawakening in the 1970s (Hedges). As the investigation of Mr. Wright’s murder takes the sheriff of Dickson County, neighbor Mr. Hale, and their wives to the Wright farm, the story “confines itself to the narrow space of Minnie’s kitchen--- the limited and limiting space of her female sphere. Within that small space are revealed all of the dimensions of the loneliness that is her mute message” (Hedges). It is evident through Glaspell’s writing that Minnie Wright feels distress from being trapped in the confines of her kitchen with no telephone and no outreach to the world outside her husband’s farm. Mrs. Wright being quarantined to her own home every day--- a common occurrence in housewives of ...

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...could relate to the daily struggles of completing chores to please their husbands and children and understood how Minnie Wright could develop feelings of desolation due to the lack of variety in daily activities. When the men found the unwashed towels by the sink and the burst jars of fruit in the cupboard, they quickly took a tone of disgust and disappointment that Mrs. Wright fell short of her “womanly duty” of picking up daily messes. Women in the early 20th century often were not rewarded for completing difficult tasks amongst the homestead on a daily basis, but could be punished and mistreated for not completing the tasks in a timely manner. Glaspell’s work “offers a sympathetic portrait of an abused wife, a woman who is mistreated economically, psychologically, emotionally, and perhaps physically… [her actions] supporting battered woman syndrome” (Keetley).
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