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The Relevance Today of A Jury of Her Peers

In a short story A Jury of Her Peers, Susan Glaspell shows many social standards women faced at the beginning of the 20th century. Glaspell demonstrated to the reader how a woman’s life was all ruled by social laws, and her husband. Glaspell also shows the ignorance of men in the story, in particular the sheriff and the county attorney.

In the beginning of the 20th century, women did not have many rights. Those few rights and freedoms they did have were ruled by social standards. They were supposed to serve their husbands’ wishes and commands. The society in the story is also shown as the oppressing one. A good example is Martha Hale. Martha’s husband treats her on equal in their private life, but not in public. When she tries to interrupt her husband, when he talks with the county attorney, she treats him as an equal. She is not afraid of him. Many women at that time had never even tried to interrupt their husbands.

Gender roles are spread throughout the whole story. Men should work outside of the home, and women should work inside the home. Neither the men nor the women appreciate the other’s work. Men do not realize the struggles women experience when cooking, cleaning, and managing the house. Even though it seems that women understand the hardships the men face, they feel that their own jobs are more difficult. Back then, men worked according to set hours, while women worked in the house almost all of the time.

The sheriff is especially critical of Mrs. Wright. He does not think her work worth anything. He didn’t pay attention to her concerns of preserves, not taking into account the time and effort she put into them. The county attorney makes a mess under the sink kicking the pans without any regard. None of the men appreciate Mrs. Wright’s efforts. Only Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters understand what she had been put through. Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peters are a jury of her peers.

The county attorney, the sheriff, and his deputies convey an impression of ignorance and bad investigation. Sheriff Peters looks to be in absolute control over the investigation. He doesn’t want to take any blame for mistakes, or admit that his deputy is not a good detective either. Considering that the main suspect in the murder of John Wright is his own wife, it was ignorant to obviate searching throughout the kitchen.

It is surprising that even though the story was written many years ago, it can be still very relevant today. Many of the injustices in the story are very common now. Men and women still do not agree on many issues, bad investigations lead to unfair trails, and everyone thinks their own work is much more difficult than anyone else’s.

In a short story A Jury of Her Peers, Susan Glaspell shows many social standards women faced at the beginning of the 20th century. Glaspell demonstrated to the reader how a woman’s life was all ruled by social laws, and her husband. Glaspell also shows the ignorance of men in the story, in particular the sheriff and the county attorney.

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Assignment ID
100001444
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CREATED ON
August 27, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 28, 2016
Price
$39
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