Trifles In Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers

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“A Jury of Her Peers,” a short story written by Susan Glaspell in 1917, is an example of early feminist literature. The female characters, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, are able to solve the mystery of who murdered 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 plot line as the story. In both works, Glaspell depicts how the men, Sheriff Peters, Mr. Hale, and County Attorney, 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 the clues that lead to the conclusion that Minnie Wright, John Wright’s wife, 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 an individual’s response to a literary text. Reader-response criticism “maintains that what a text is cannot be separated from what it does” (Tyson 170). There are several different approaches to reader-response theory that I would be applying, such as transactional reader response theory and affective stylistics. Firstly, transactional reader-response theory “analyzes the transaction between text and reader” in which the text stimulates the “feelings, associations, and
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