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Breaking the Bonds of Oppression in Susan Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers

Project id 1014130
Subject area Writing
Document type Essay
Words 1024
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Breaking the Bonds of Oppression at A Jury of Her Peers Susan Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" is a view to the lives of farmer's wives from the Midwest at the turn of the century. These girls reside in a male dominated world, in which the men consider them incompetent and frivolous. The only identity they have is that correlated with their husbands. They stay in the farmhouse to complete their exhausting and repetitive chores. The wives have minimum contact with the other people due to the spaces between farms. Glaspell uses her female characters to fight from the inequalities that women face and also to prove that girls are capable and when pushed too far - attack back. The man dominant society that is condescending, controlling, denies identity, demands submission, and is abusive toward women, is a society that punishes and deprives itself. It's a society that's hurtful and harmful, not just to the girls, but to the guys as well. Average of this male dominant state of mind, the men's opinion of the girls in "A Jury of Her Peers" is condescending from start to finish. Putting a slight twist on Shakespeare's famous metaphor, "The entire world is a stage", the guys would be the puppeteers, and the girls "merely" puppets, evidences the men's faith (Act II, scene 7, lines 143-144). The guys think they're superior and more intelligent than the women are. The feeling of superiority is evident from Mr. Hale's remark, "girls are used to worrying over trifles" (Glaspell 186). Likewise, these feelings of excellence are shown in the county attorney's musings over whether the girls would "know a clue if they arrived upon it" (Glaspell 187). Glaspell uses this emotion to create the irony in the story. She shows how.

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