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The Jury's Verdict - EL 267

January 30, 2005

In Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers," the portrayal of women's treatment of each other is different although equally, I feel, accurate. In "A Jury of Her Peers" the women are older. They are married to men who believe their place is in the kitchen and that the ideas of women are but silly insignificant trifles.

Much is communicated between the women by the glances they give each other, ideas that are communicated that the men just don't pick up on. Mrs. Hale keeps remembering Mrs. Wright as young Minnie Foster and feels guilty about not coming to visit her. She knew that Minnie wasn't living a happy life but found it very easy to get caught up in her own life and forgot about Minnie. Until now.

It's funny that the women are able to piece together the truth of the night in question because the clues exist in the kitchen and the sewing room, both areas that are the woman's domain. To the men, the kitchen being messy is just a sign of a bad housewive. To the women, to Mrs. Hale especially, the messy kitchen says a lot. They are able to piece together the events cumulating with the main clue [ and again, i won't ruin the ending if you haven't read it ].

When the county attorney says, "It's all perfectly clear, except the reason for doing it. But you know juries when it comes to women. If there was some definite thing - something to show. Something to make a story about. A thing that would connect up with this clumsy way of doing it," the two women look at each other, unsure of how to proceed, trying to judge each other's reaction.

Finally in a spring of action, the decision is made and the jury has reached its verdict.

Unlike BBHH, the women in this story show more solidarity with each other. The two women make the decision they do because they know how Minnie must have felt - they understand her pain because they deal with the same problems every day. They are not competitive with each other because each has already gotten her man and is set in her way of life - they feel Minnie's pain because Minnie's fate could have just as easily been their own.

Again, I feel this is true to life. Young women are frequently competitive with each other, practically cutthroat. However, I notice that as women grow older, there is less of a tendency to act this way - perhaps because they realize the pointlessness of it or perhaps they turn their anger in other directions. In either case, the older a woman gets, the more likely she is to feel the plight of another woman's pain.

Moira at 09:36 AM :: Comments (1) :: ::
Comments:

I agree with you 100%. I think that this story does differ greatly in it's ideals about how women are portrayed from BBHH.

I think that the women of this story were not only trying to help a woman, but were also trying to settle their own concious'. They had ignored the woman and left her to her own devices with a man that didn't really have very much life in him.

For more please come and visit my blog!

Posted by: Tiffany at February 2, 2005 06:49 PM
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