Social criticism can be involved in detective fiction, we see equality of the sexes being laughed at. Men in “A Jury of Her Peers” written by Susan Glaspell story, make fun of women, and Glaspell is deliberately critiquing the way men see women. Also, Klein argues that in detective fiction stories the detective is a detective male and the victim is always female. Which refers to in most detective stories women are just the laughing victims in the story and not the hero or seen as the favorite.
“You’re Convinced there was nothing important here…Nothing that would—point to any motive?” (Glaspell, pg. 5, 1908). In 1916, Glaspell worked for Des Moines daily news as a reporter where she later met her husband George Cook who was a play director. Together they wrote and produced plays, two of which are Trifles and Jury of Her Peers which are based off a crime scene she encountered while being a reporter. Glaspell’s plays are on the feminist side focusing on the roles women are forced to play in society and their relationships with men. Motive is the overall theme found in both versions of Glaspell’s story and is evidenced through the Wright’s relationship, the anger portrayed in various ways, and finally, regret found in Mrs. Wright.
Although “A Jury of Her Peers” and “Trifles” are similar in plot, Mustazza’s article, “Generic Translation and Thematic Shift in Susan Glaspell’s ‘Trifles’ and ‘A Jury of Her Peers’” highlights the differences and similarities between the two. Mustazza’s article may help aid readers to understand the differences between Glaspell’s two works and provide understanding as to why Glaspell may have changed the genre and form of the plot. “Trifles” is a dramatic play whereas “A Jury of Her Peers” is prose fiction. While some differences may be seen on the surface, other differences will need to be inspected closely. Mustazza’s article may help one to understand Glaspell’s works by providing analysis and additional perspectives on both “A Jury of her Peers” and “Trifles”.
“A Jury of Her Peers” is a short story written by Susan Glaspell in 1917 illustrates early feminist literature. The two female characters, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, is able to solve the mystery of who the murderer of John Wright while their male counterparts could not. This short story had been adapted from Glaspell’s one-act play Trifles written the previous year. The play consists of the same characters and plotline as the story. In both works, Glaspell depicts how the men, Sheriff Peters and Mr. Hale, disregard the most important area in the house, the kitchen, when it comes to their investigation. In the end, the women are the ones who find clues that lead to the conclusion of Minnie Wright, John Wright’s wife, is the one who murdered him. Both of Glaspell’s female characters illustrate the ability to step into a male dominated profession by taking on the role of detective. According to Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide, written by Lois Tyson, a reader-response critique “focuses on readers’ response to literary texts” and it’s a diverse area (169). Through a reader-response criticism from a feminist lens, we are able to analyze how “A Jury of Her Peers” and Trifles depict how a patriarchal society oppresses women in the early twentieth century, gender stereotypes confined both men and women and the emergence of the New Woman is illustrated.
In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, many married women felt a sense of hopelessness in their lives. In a time of our history when women were restricted in many ways, one might assume marriage would be a place of comfort for women, a place of relative equality. However, as many of the women writers of this period illustrate, marriage might leave women feeling caged, trapped, and desperate. Two great examples of this are Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour,” and Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers.”
In Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers,” Minnie Foster is accused of killing her husband. This accusation forces Mrs. Peters to choose between the law and her inner feelings. Her husband is the sheriff of Dickenson County, Iowa. It has always
In the short story "A Jury of Her Peers" a woman named Minnie Wright is accused of the murder of her husband. Minnie Wright is a farmer's wife and is also isolated from the out side world. There is an investigation that takes place in the home of the murder. There are three men that are involved on the case and two women accompany, but are not there to really help solve the murder. These two women will
Gender Roles in Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers and Trifles Twentieth century society places few stereotypical roles on men and women. The men are not the sole breadwinners, as they once were, and the women are no longer the sole homemakers. The roles are often reversed, or,
The “Ethics of Justice” deal with large, sweeping, abstract concepts about the ideals of Justice without regard to relationships. A view that wrong is wrong no matter what the circumstances really. The “Ethics of Justice” encourage “impartial duty” and “portray the moral agent as someone who listens to reason, figures out the right thing to do, and does it” (96). They admit that they are holding Mrs. Wright for murder and they are looking for “a motive; something to show anger, or--sudden feeling” (101). However, they fail to actually search the place where the woman would have spent most of her time. The Ethics of Justice, just as the men in the play, are largely unconcerned with personal details. The men are likely looking for something very large in their search, rather than the slow-building motive that the women piece together. They fail entirely to notice anything out of place about the kitchen and chalk anything that they do notice up to Mrs. Wright being “not much of a housekeeper” (99). In short, the men are concerned with the “Why” of the case but only in the large terms of what they would consider, impetus for murder. They are concerned with finding a reason that makes sense to them but not necessarily to the, in all likelihood, female murderer. It seems that they are attempting to determine “What would cause another person to murder an innocent man?” rather than
In “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, Minnie Foster Wright is the main character, even though the reader never sees Mrs. Wright. The story begins as Mrs. Hale joins the county attorney, Mr. Henderson; the sheriff, Mr. Peters; Mrs. Peters; and her husband in a “big two-seated buggy” (188). The team men are headed the Wright house to investigate Mr. Wright’s murder. Mrs. Peters is going along to gather some belongings for Mrs. Wright, who is currently being held in jail, and Mrs. Hale has been asked to accompany Mrs. Peters. As the investigation is conducted throughout the story, the reader is given a sense of how women were treated during this time and insight into why the women ultimately keep evidence from the men.
In Susan Glaspell’s, “A Jury of her Peers”, it is the women who take center stage and captivate the reader’s emotions. Throughout the feministic short story, which was written in 1917, several repeating patterns and symbols help the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the difficulty of prairie life for women and of the bond that women share. The incredible cunning the women in the story demonstrate provides insight into the innate independence that women had even during days of deep sexual discrimination. In “A Jury of her Peers”, the hardships women of the early twentieth century must endure and the sisterhood that they can still manage to maintain are manifested as a mysterious, small-town murder unfolds.
From beginning to end, Susan Glaspell’s 1917 short story “A Jury of Her Peers,” has several repetitive patterns and symbols that help the reader gain a profound understanding of how hard life is for women at the turn-of-the-century, as well as the bonds women share. In the story two women go with their husbands and county attorney to a remote house where Mr. Wright has been killed in his bed with a rope and he suspect is Minnie, his wife. Early in the story, Mrs. Hale sympathizes with Minnie and objects to the way the male investigators are “snoopin’ round and criticizin’ ” her kitchen. In contrast, Mrs. Peters, the Sheriffs wife, shows respect for the law, saying that the men are doing “no more than their duty”. However, by the end of the story Mrs. Peters unites with Mrs. Hale in a conspiracy of silence and concealing evidence. What causes this dramatic transformation?
Glaspell’s attempt to rationalize the murder is evident in the title, “A Jury of Her Peers.” The point she is trying to make is that under the early twentith century judiciary system, it is her opinion that a woman could not get a fair trial. She is of course referring to the standard of the day that a jury be composed of only males. In fact, a jury composed of women, she conjects, would quite possibly acquit a murderess wife of all charges, given favorable circumstances, as the two women unofficially did in the story. After all, according to Glaspell, they are like her, of her, and can understand her plight.
A JURY OF HER PEERS - A CHARACTER ANALYSIS As in the case of most, if not all, good allegorical stories, the primary impact of the tale is strongly influenced by the author’s detailed characterization of the setting, as well as the characters’ feelings and passions. Certainly such is the case in Susan Glaspell’s story “A Jury of Her Peers”. Here the reader sees a richness of characterization and setting that is elusive at first reading, but becomes clearer as the story evolves. In the final analysis, it becomes clear just who the jury is and the outcome of their collective verdict. It is by the use of allegorical and metaphorical rhetoric that the tension of the story is maintained so very well.
Hale both decide to make a joke out of a murder. By hiding the truth from the authorities, they could have received charges for obstruction of justice and received jail time ( Cornell ). The other viewpoint would be from the women in the story or possibly anyone reading it. After years of constant neglect and criticism, Mrs. Wright decided to break out the cage of a marriage she was in with her husband. Feeling for her pain, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale mock the men as they investigate the crime scene. By not telling the truth to the Mr. Hale and the County Attorney, the women are getting revenge on the men for the they have been treating them.