Comparing 'The Yellow Wallpaper And A Jury Of Her Peers'

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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. Penning many stories that demonstrate her opinions on the social issues of the era,…show more content…
The story opens with Mrs. Wright imprisoned for strangling her husband. A group, the mostly composed of men, travel to the Wright house in the hopes that they find incriminating evidence against Mrs. Wright. Instead, the two women of the group discover evidence of Mr. Wright’s abuse of his wife. Through the women’s unique perspective, the reader glimpses the reality of the situation and realizes that, though it seemed unreasonable at the time, Mrs. Wright had carefully calculated her actions. When asked about the Wrights, one of the women, Mrs. Hale, replies “I don’t think a place would be a cheerful for John Wright’s being in it” (“A Jury of Her Peers” 7). The men of the group, much like John in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” consider themselves more capable than the women and refuse to consider Mrs. Wright as anything other than irrational. The men leave the women to their “trifles” on the first floor, where they discover a broken bird cage, and the bird’s body, broken, carefully wrapped in a small, decorative box. They realize that Mr. Wright had wrung the neck of his wife’s beloved bird and broken its cage. Mrs. Wright, once known for her cheerfulness and beautiful singing, she stopped singing when she encountered Mr. Wright. Just like he did with the bird, Mr. Wright choked the life out of his wife until, finally, Mrs. Wright literally choked the life out of her husband. Like the bird, she had to break her own cage before she found freedom. Like Chopin and Gilman before her, Glaspell uses an irrational character to illustrate the way men often rejected and looked down upon women, especially in the 19th and 20th
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