August 10, 2005

Understanding Stories: Up Close and Personal

The reason that education has become so important in "The United States of America" is because people want their children, as well as themselves, to be as eductaed as they possibly can. A major component of becoming educated and well rounded is by looking in the past. Their are people that are still doing research trying to figure out "Why men treated women so poorly?, Why there was such a diversity between Caucasians and African Americans?

Before reading Marina Angel's "Susan Glaspell's Trifles and A Jury of Her Peers: Women Abuse in a Literary and Legal Context" , I knew that those questions, stated above, all have answers to them. The reason is simple. Society became accustomed to men controlling people, especially women. Women did not stand up for themselves and if there was one brazen women, who would dare question her "master”, she would be hanged so she could be used as an example towards other women who thought about "disrespecting" their husbands. It was just "the way it was". But the reason becomes much more clear after reading the article written by Marina Angel.

Angel's article let her audience get into the "setting" of "A Jury of Her Peers", even if they had never read the story previously. "A Jury of Her Peers" was written by Susan Glaspell. Angel's article made me come up with some answers to questions that arose after reading "A Jury of Her Peers and Trifles".

The reason why I believe that Glaspell did not simply republish her news-paper articles was because I feel as a "women" and "journalist" at that time people would have thought that she was "queer". It was not the time nor place for someone to help women understand the reasons why men behanved the way that they did, especially because she, herself, was a woman. I have thought about why Glaspell would write a one act play and the again make the same story into a short story. The only reaon that makes some sense to me was because she wanted to attract as many people to her story as she possibly could. Her job as a journalist, writer, etc. was to make people read her story and that was exactly what she did. She did not end the story nor play with a solid conclusion, the ending is simply left up to your imagination, choose it as you please. That would, of course, justify how men would chose their ending as well as women would choose theirs and she would have satisified every sex who read the story. I do not believe that she wanted to recreate an account of factual events.

Since Glaspell chose to write about this story many years after she had researched and wrote about, it obviously had an impact on her own life. I feel that she chose to write "Trifles" and "A Jury of Her Peers" because during the time she investigated the events that those stories were based on she had conflicting thoughts. She went from calling the suspect, Mrs. Hoccack, "cold, calm, and menancing" to "worn and emanciated." This makes me feel that she got swept up into this story and felt like she wanted to create this imaginary relationship between women and men to make people realize the power of people when they stick together.

As like other stories, there is no solid reason why authors wrote the stories that they did. There are only people's opinions. Some will strongly agree with the reasons I gave to help me understand the actions of Glaspell and others will strongly disagree. Because as Angel said, "If diversity does not exist important stories will not be told and heard." The only way to come up with explanations is to become familiar with the subject and study the behaviors of the people performing the actions.

Posted by GinaBurgese at August 10, 2005 06:44 PM | TrackBack

Great start on the term work, Gina. Can you tell me more about how the opening line about education ties in? Do you mean that Glaspell's newspaper reporting, her drama, and her story are all vehicles for education? If so, what is it that the drama accomplishes, that nothing else can accomplish?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at August 11, 2005 10:29 PM

Sorry if I confused you! I just wanted to explain that reading Angel's article made me understand history in a way that kept me interested instead of boring me with dull facts that we were taught our throughout the years. Which is why I like literature so much because the author's teach and explain difficult situations without you knowing that they are doing so. I know that literature is considered "boring" to many people, but I think that is because everyone has a different view of what is "interesting." Also I think that 'drama' is different because it doesn't give you paragraphs or explanations to what is happening in the stories. It lets the reader put the story together and really gets the reader to form its own image of the characters and situation. Plays and stories give you a way of educating yourself where you can use your imagination and own thoughts instead of simply studying the facts, which is why I believe Glaspell turned her investigations into stories, plays, etc. There are always new and interesting thoughts if you just stretch your brain, which is a process of becoming educated. I hope I clear up your confusion! If not, I'll try again.

Posted by: Gina at August 12, 2005 03:53 PM

Aha, yes that makes a lot of sense. No need to apologize, Gina -- that's just part of the online medum. If you had brought this up in class, I'd have asked you right away how you felt education related to your subject, you'd have answered it without skipping a beat, and you'd have gone on with it.

Closely tied to the religious origin of dramatic ritual is the educational component. Religious leaders must teach those stories and truths that are necessary for the faithful to experience and contribute to the benefits of religion. In an age before widespread literacy, art of all kinds was designed to teach -- including statues, paintings and, yes, drama.

One of the topics we'll look at soon is "didactic drama" -- that is, drama that is intended to teach.

I always enjoy your passion and your insight... thanks for getting an early start on it!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at August 12, 2005 04:27 PM

Hello all! Very nice site and very informativity!

Posted by: Rustie at March 18, 2006 08:07 AM
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