Essay on Susan Glaspell’s Jury of Her Peers

1045 Words 5 Pages
“Jury of Her Peers” is a short story that combines murder, lies and sexism while exposing the reader to the truth about women’s abilities and skills. Aside from being a murder mystery about the investigation of the sudden death of John Wright, the story’s theme is more about respect for women and making decisions based on one’s own beliefs and morals rather than allowing others to control them. Glaspell is a firm believer in women’s rights, and she dedicates most of her writing, including this piece, to displaying to society that women are indeed as smart and capable as men are to perform the duties and jobs of everyday life (internet*). The setting is in rural Dickson County, USA, just prior to 1920. This was a period in …show more content…
To them, women are not good for anything greater than housework and cooking. It is Glaspell’s goal in this and many of her other works to show the audience that women are good for so much more than that.

The story’s plot is based around the murder of Mr. John Wright with Mrs. Wright as the primary suspect. Although there is no evidence or motive to John’s death, Mrs. Wright is held in custody while Mr. Peters and Mr. Henderson investigate her home. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are brought along to collect a few things she had requested, one being her apron, indicating that she is having some mental problems. In the process of collecting these items, the women discover solid evidence strongly suggesting that Mrs. Wright did indeed kill her husband. Of course, the story’s time setting marks women as being inferior, so any kind of ideas they may have concerning the case are considered by the men as being useless. This ignorant and disrespectful attitude from the Sheriff and Mr. Hale causes the two women to hide the piece of evidence, in which case there is nothing to prove Mrs. Wright had anything to do with John’s death. It is a bold and determined move by the women, and the men miss out on this major piece of evidence.

The death of John Wright can be directly traced to the death of Mrs. Wright’s canary. Prior to her marriage to John, Mrs. Wright was known as Minnie Foster. In the eyes of Mrs. Hale, she was a very bright and social person.

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