A Jury of Her Peers - Essay Example

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The struggle of women for equality continues to be a significant social issue that sparks myriad debates hitherto. In the last fifty years of our history, women have come a long way in claiming equal recognition as men. From women's suffrage down to nation leadership, they have fought inch by inch for every single right and opportunity denied to them by the patriarchal society…
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A Jury of Her Peers
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Download file to see previous pages Throughout the story, Glaspell clearly depicts how men in those times regarded women as remarks thick with chauvinist undertones are exchanged between the male characters. For instance, while conducting the investigation in the Wright's abode, the county attorney asked Mrs. Peters, the sheriff's wife, to keep an eye for anything that maybe helpful in revealing the real motive for Mr. Wright's brutal murder. To this, Mr. Hale quickly asserts, "would the women know a clue if they did, come upon it"
Another example is when the three men overheard Mrs. Hale's query about the quilt, an important evidence missed by the men that would ultimately uncover Mrs. Wright's motive. Mrs. Hale asks, "Do you suppose she was going to quilt it or just knot it" Upon hearing this, the sheriff threw up his hands in incredulity then remarks, "They wonder whether she was going to quilt it or just knot it!" and, "There was a laugh for the ways of women."
In light of the chauvinist banter, it becomes evident how the men openly mock the women. These points intend to open the eyes of readers to the reality as to how the society perceives women's ways and undertakings. There is an implication that the society highly values only the activities engaged in by men like their work s. On the other hand, women's activities such as the household chores are given minimal economic significance. These go to show how the chauvinist society distinguishes "women matters" as trivial, thus, of relatively less importance as compared to "men matters."
People, even women themselves, fail to realize that women, just like the men, possess the ability and power to contribute to a cause, although in a different manner. As illustrated in Glaspell's story, it is actually Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, being the way they are, who solved the mystery unbeknownst to the men. With their sensitivity to details and common distressing experiences, they have shed light to Mrs. Wright's real motive for taking her husband's life.
Social Pressures on Women
Based on Mrs. Hale's recollection, Mrs. Wright, the once vivacious lad "used to wear pretty clothes and be lively-when she was Minnie Foster." When this description is juxtaposed with Mr. Hale's image of Mrs. Wright "pleatin' at her apron", the readers are given the idea on the immense change undergone from Minnie Foster, the pretty lady who gleefully sings in the choir down to Mrs. Wright, the lifeless woman who suffered much from her husband's masculine oppression. All it takes is marriage to an oppressive man. It is then revealed that Mrs. Wright murders her husband for killing the bird, her only source of hope that serves as her constant reminder of what her life used to be.
Such scenario depicts how the society imposed social pressures on women, especially those who are married. Married women, as if placed in uniform boxes, are packaged by the patriarchal society as obedient wives who readily do their husbands' every bidding. In fulfilling their domestic roles, what becomes central is that they tend to their families' needs primarily. In a way, these result in women developing an ambiguous self-image, which as Mrs. Peter's describes, "as if ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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