Authors, especially female authors, have long used their writing to emphasize and analyze the feminist issues that characterize society, both in the past and the present. Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Susan Glaspell wrote narratives that best examined feminist movements through the unreliable minds of their characters. In all three stories, “The Story of an Hour”, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, and “A Jury of Her Peers”, the authors use characterization, symbolism, and foreshadowing to describe the characters’ apparent psychosis or unreasonable behavior to shed light on the social issues that characterized the late 19th century and early 20th century.
In addition, her choice of killing was to the neck with a rope as is similar to the way Mr. Wright killed her pet bird by wrecking its neck. Figuratively in this story, the bird is Mrs. Wright therefore, her killing the bird meant that she was close or already had killed Mrs. Wright’s true personality. The thought of this is what made Mrs. Wright rage vigorous from her cage as the thought of the constant oppression and the murder of her pet that influence her to reach for the rope. This scene is what drove Mrs. Wright to insanity as the constant nagging of abusive behavior and isolation is what made her leave her cage and remove the problem that was impeding her escape to
Susan Glaspell’s short story, “A Jury of Her Peers” is full of symbolism, which is portrayed through the bird in the story. The story takes place in a house that is set far back and is a lonely place. With the story being written in the 1920’s the attitude men have towards women is by far noticeable throughout the story with them being doubted or looked down upon. There is a murder scene that is being investigated with the wife of the murdered man as the number one suspect. The men in the story are looking in all the wrong places, where the women looked in the one spot to find the one clue that would close the entire case.
Wright it is easy to tell that she is not at all upset about her husband’s death. When being asked about the situation she “laughed and pleated her skirt” (4). Mrs. Wright is compared to a bird that is found later in the story. The bird was found in a pretty box with marks around its neck. Hale and Peters say that the death of her bird would have been her motive if she actually was her husband’s murderer, but the author utilizes the bird and its broken cage to be a comparison to Mrs. Wright’s life.
Minnie’s quilt, the dead bird and its cage, and the kitchen show that living in a man’s world is not easy. In the end, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale recognize that they too have experienced the same loneliness and mistreatment that led Mrs. Wright to murder her husband. The men don't value the women in this story and they don't see them as being very intelligent either. It is for this reason “A jury of her peers” is created. Peers being the women themselves as they stand up, united against the subjugation they have all experienced.
Three women, Minnie Wright, Martha Hale, and Mrs. Peters express sisterhood by hiding of incriminating evidence such as the dead bird while the men fail to prove of her complicity. This essay focuses on themes of sisterhood and gender roles, and the passiveness that manifests in the process of gathering evidence. The theme of Sisterhood. As the plot unfolds to ascertain the murder of John Wright, Mrs. Hale says, “it looked very lonesome this cold morning, it had always been a lonesome place” (Glaspell, 1992), while referring to the house of Minnie Wright.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we are here today to discuss the murder of John Wright. On November 15, Mr. Wright was found in his bed with a rope around his neck, presumably strangled to death. His body was discovered by his wife supposedly and did not bother to notify to the local authorities. At eight o'clock in the morning, Mr. Hale went to look for Mr. Wright and found Minnie, Mr. Wright’s wife, sitting in a rocking chair inside of the house. Mr. Hale asked Minnie for her husband and she stated that John Wright was dead in the bedroom.
They both conclude that someone was rough with the empty birdcage. Immediately afterward, Mrs. Hale comments on the men’s progress to find evidence, saying, “’I wish if they’re going to find any evidence they’d be about it’” (Glaspell 1416). Mrs. Hale’s remark is ironic because her current conversation about the birdcage’s door hinge is indirect evidence, yet she is growing impatient with the men’s attempts to discover any solid evidence. A little later on, Mrs. Hale relates the idea of a bird to Mrs. Wright by saying, “’she was kind of like a bird herself.’”
He killed that too”, which is an exact representation of how women were inferior, muted, and defused (“A Jury of Her Peers 1643). Because the women felt so inferior to the men, they never spoke up when they found the dead bird which explained that Minnie Foster was the murder of John Wright. Another reason for this action was that Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters felt united as women due to their social status and situation. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale chose to hide the dead bird and not to disclose the actual murder clues and details they found as it was their moral duty as
Hale can be described as a leader which is a quality that Mrs. Peters does not possess. After discovering the dead bird, the women both decide to not inform the men of their discovery. When the men come back downstairs, the discover the empty birdcage. The county attorney asks the women if “ the bird has flown” (1119). Mrs. Hale quickly replies with “we think the—cat got it” (1119).
The women began to pity Mrs. Wright as they knew her before she married to Mr. Wright. The females felt pity, where the men just accessed the situation at hand. After the women examine the empty bird cage they remember the way that Mrs. Wright use to sing and compared her to her former self as Minnie Foster. “Trifles,” introduced the masculinity here from the Sheriff’s side instantly putting his instinct into saying that there was a murder that happened at the farmhouse, was caused by Mrs. Wright without any hesitation. He didn’t look into the sadness, or let the depressing home get to him as much as what his intentions and his well-being come into play before his
However, this condition starts to change the moment the women challenge the power. They, as the dominated group, resist the inequality by doing something that brings justice. For Mrs. Wright, her definition of justice is when she kills her husband the way he kills her bird. For Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, justice has been prevailed when they lie about the evidence for the case that becomes the symbols of their equality and the mockery of the men’s initial
The reason for the murder is what the men are trying to find, she speculates that Mr. Wright killed the bird they had found as soon as they started to investigate. Then Mrs. Peters becomes defensive repeating “we don’t know” in different lines. This is a major confusion to the audience as these two characters hare having very different moral struggles throughout the show and it should have been clear the character Glaspell
Trifles, something of little importance, is the opposite of what the women are distraught about. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find several items that were “women things”, such as an unfinished quilt and a bird in a box with its neck snapped. These items are key symbols, not only to the play, but to the motive of the murder. Mrs. Wright never revealed that her husband had done cruel things to her, but her husband was known to be harsh at times. Mrs. Hale brings up how Mrs. Wright lived before she married, “I heard she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir.