Gender Equality In Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers

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In society, there is always the desire to be “loyal to your sex” (Glaspell), to protect those that one relates to the most. In Susan Glaspell’s short story, A Jury of Her Peers, the characters personify that exact constant by protecting their peers, respectively, as a result of the historical gender segregation. To begin, the women in the short story are not friends, with the narrator of the story stating “She [Martha Hale] had met Mrs. Peters the year before at the county fair… she remembered… that she did not seem like a sheriff’s wife,” (Glaspell) and when it came to the accused, Mrs. Hale felt as if “she could not cross that threshold,” (Glaspell) as a result of her never having visited her, Minnie Wright, in twenty years. As a result, this shows that the women are not bonded socially or emotionally, as they are mere acquaintances. Regardless of their lack of bonding, the women still protected and supported one another. While the men were left thinking that the women were only interested in frivolous matters, such as the quilt that Minnie Wright was working on, though these minor details, such as the inconsistent stitch work, are the clues the men overlooked, as a result of the gender divide, as men would not have understood the amount of concentration and effort it …show more content…
In the minds of Martha Hale and Mrs. Peters, Minnie cracked after the death of her songbird, who, much like her late husband, was asphyxiated. The symbolism shown through the bird was also discussed, as Minnie Foster, in her maiden years, was too like the bird, and if she was left with her husband any longer, there was a high chance that she would be the next murder investigation. After the revelation occurs, the women seem even more connected to Mrs. Wright, and this causes the pair to hide the bird from their husbands, even though Mrs. Peters is considered to be “married to the law.”

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