Social Injustices In Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers

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Throughout “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell a noticeable power struggle between the women and the men occurs. “A Jury of Her Peers” exposes the social injustices that women faced during the turn of the century. In the story Mrs. Wright lashes out against her husband as result of built up anger and societies social pressure. In the essays “from Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell’s ‘Trifles’” by Suzy Clarkson Holstein and “from The Case of the Battered Wife: Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and ‘A Jury of Her Peers’” by Lillian Schanfield embody the theme of social injustices among women. The social gaps between men and women in “A Jury of Her Peers” and “Trifles” helped drive the plot and allowed a unique outcome to be achieved.

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Wright is an example of a battered wife that experienced many levels of abuse” (Schanfield 1655). Schanfield outlines “physical and sexual abuse, but also emotional, economic, verbal and isolation as methods of control and domination” (Schanfield 1655). Mr. Wright completely dominated Mrs. Wright and uses isolation to make Minnie Foster inferior in their relationship and in society. In “A Jury of Her Peers” the women were caucusing over who Minnie Foster used to be and Mrs. Hale said she “remembers her as a lively girl with pretty clothes, wearing a ‘white dress with blue ribbons’” (qtd. in Schanfield 1656). In the text, Glaspell insist on Mrs. Wright being identification as a “songbird” before she married John Wright (Schanfield 1655). Glaspell chose to do this so the audience can see how an independent woman is happier and better off alone. As her marriage played out with Mr. Wright she slowly morphed into the mold a woman was forced to fit into. In “A Jury of Her Peers” Mrs. Hale (referring to Mrs. Wrights singing and happiness in the context of the bird) said, “No, [Mr.] Wright wouldn't like the bird… a thing that sang” she went on to say “She used to sing. 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
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