A Jury of Her Peers, by Susan Glaspell Essay

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In Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers”, female characters face inequality in a society dominated by the opinions of their husbands. The women struggle to decide where their loyalty rests and the fate of a fellow woman. Aided by memories and their own lifestyles the women realize their ties to a woman held for murder, Minnie Foster Wright. Through a sympathetic connection these women, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters have greater loyalty to a fellow woman than to their husbands and even the law; this greater loyalty ultimately shows the inequality between genders. Mrs. Hale feels a natural responsibility to defend and protect Minnie Foster Wright through her connection as a fellow woman and housewife. Upon her introduction to Minnie through …show more content…
Though hesitant to devote her loyalty to Minnie and not to her husband and the law, Mrs. Peters eventually gives her loyalty after realizing her personal connections to Minnie’s life. When she enters the Wright home, Mrs. Peters is “married to the law”, bound so tightly to the law through her husband she is reluctant to separate that bond and return to a natural bond with those of her own sex (Glaspell 172). Mrs. Peters’ loyalty is triggered as she identifies with Minnie’s loneliness and “violent tendencies” (Ortiz 165). Realizing that she can connect more to a lonely woman than to her husband and the law she has lived with and respected changes how she approaches the evidence she finds. With increased compassion and sympathy for Minnie her loyalty is tested in the face of the law, her husband, and Mrs. Hale, her peer. Her loyalty rests with Minnie and she tries her best to protect her and allow the verdict of her guilt be decided by women alone, she takes the risk of hiding the evidence that would convict Minnie (Glaspell 173). In placing their loyalty with Minnie and not their husbands or the legal system the women reflect the inequality between genders at the time. The men of the story disregard both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. This superior attitude that the men have turns the women away from them and to each other. The women realize that the male dominated fields of law

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