In Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers,” the female characters face inequality in a male-dominated society. Because of the deep rooted stereotypes held on by the men in this story, they cannot step into Minnie Wright’s shoes in order to solve the crime, They unsuspectingly are bested by the women because of their blind eyes and inability to connect and relate with Minnie. The men, the county attorney, Mr, Hale, and Sheriff Peters only view their wives, the women, as homemakers.
Making comments such as “But would women know a clue if they did come upon one?” hearing the insensitive comments made by the men, Mrsi Hale and Mrs Peters shrink in a corner, knowing full well they have no right to defend themselves. The men overlook the most important room with all the answers, labeling it as “nothing here but kitchen things.”
Mrs, Hale and Mrs. Peters find out clues in the kitchen because they are expected to stay in the kitchen.
They find the difficult oven, sugar bucket, and messy knitting that led to the discovery of Minnie‘s dead canary, the proof of motive. The women were only able to spot them because they could relate to Minnie. They too were subjected to the loneliness imposed by their husbands’ expectations on women’s role in society, Mrs. Hale, remembering how much Minnie changed after her marriage to the harsh Mr. Wright stated “we live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things—it’s all just a different kind of the same thing.
” They finally understood Minnie’s struggle, that even though they may believe their lives are different, the same aspects remain the same for women in marriage, that they are never free.
In the story, a man named John Wright is found dead in his home, and his wife, Minnie Foster Wright, is the prime suspect. The male characters in the story, including the sheriff and the county attorney, focus on finding evidence to convict Minnie of the murder. However, the female characters, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, take a different approach. As they investigate the scene, they notice small details that the men overlook. They also discuss Minnie’s life and the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband, which leads them to sympathize with her and understand why she may have committed the murder. However, their knowledge and insights are disregarded by the male characters, who dismiss their findings and opinions as irrelevant.
The inequality of female characters in the story is evident in the way the men treat them. The men belittle the women, dismiss their opinions, and view them as inferior and incapable of understanding the complexities of the case. The women are relegated to the role of homemakers and are not taken seriously as potential investigators or jurors. The story highlights the gender bias that existed in society during the early 20th century and continues to persist in some forms today. It also showcases the power of women’s solidarity and how their collective knowledge and insights can be used to bring justice and understanding to a situation.