Gender In Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers

Words: 1028
Pages: 5

Duran 1

Verdette Duran
Dr. Anita Underwood
Engl 1102

In “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, the role of gender is the main theme of the story. The role of the gender is portrayed through the female characters. The story takes place in the early 1900’s when men are the head of the household and treated women as a piece of property. Women were expected to maintain the household and take care of their families. The men in the story believe they are superior to women and devalued the opinion of women and felt that women were weak, in such a way that they belittled and mocked the women. “A Jury of Her Peers” deals with the oppression and suppression of women in the early 1900’s and how the women were treated by the men at
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Women were limited in their roles and expected to take care of the household activities, take care of the children and cooking. Society restricted the ability of women to choose their own interest and expected the women to conform to the housewife role. Because their life success was measured by their household abilities, women gave up their individual personalities and interest. In 1873, U.S. Supreme Court described the idea womanhood as “The paramount destiny and mission of women are to fulfill the noble and begin offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator”. (Smith 40) Glaspell continuously defined the female characters, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Wright, as housewives. Mrs. Hale’s character trait was a prime example of a woman that clearly focused and defined herself through her ability to maintain her household duties, “the kitchen was in no shape for leaving...half the flour sifted and half un-sifted”. (Glaspell 149) She hated to see things half done,". Mrs. Hale goes as far as cleaning Mrs. Wright’s house. “She hated to see things half …show more content…
Therefore, women take that last name of their husbands and lose their individuality. Mrs. Peter is identified by the author as the wife of a sheriff. The county attorney says “wife is married to the law”. (Glaspell 168) Mrs. Peters has clearly accepted her role as a sheriff’s wife although she did not actually agree. Mrs. Peters says, “The law has got to punish crime, Mrs. Hale”. (Glaspell 167) Before Mrs. Wright was married she expressed her happiness through singing and wore a white blue ribbon dress to symbolize her happiness. Mrs. Hale described her as “kind of bird herself-sweet and pretty, timid and fluttering”. (Glaspell 165). In the story “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, Louise Mallard was another woman that deals with the role of women in a marriage and identified only as a wife. After hearing the about the death of her husband she expresses excitement because she will not have to do what is expected of her according to her husband wishes or society. (Chopin) Women sacrificed their happiness to ensure that their families were taken care of and