Essay about Susan Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers

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I have always felt that a good piece of writing causes the reader to think about and analyze a given set of circumstances so that he expands his worldly understandings. Such writing is stimulating and often includes an element of controversy. The short story “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell is one example of this provocation in which the writer conveys her views on sexual injustice. In a way that is conceptually intriguing, Glaspell expresses her ideas about the misunderstandings between men and women during the early twentieth century. While personally disagreeing with the interpretive outcome of the story as well as the message that it is intended to present, I must admit that it did provide me with insight into the mind …show more content…
Having studied the time period myself, I concur with her real time assessment of these stark separations. However, I strongly disagree with the statement she makes in her conclusion of the story. By having the women forgo their responsibility to uphold justice in the eyes of the law, or, at a bear minimum, not to obstruct it, Glaspell leads the reader to believe that murder, perhaps the worst crime that can be committed by man, or woman, is to be forgiven without reproach because of purported mental abuse! I find the idea sickening. That there are evil people in the world who take the life of others is bad enough, but to consider that some rationalize such activities because of a certain social persuasion is intolerable.

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.

The principle flaw in her logic is twofold. First,
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