Jury Of Her Peers

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Suspect or Victim? Are men more superior then woman? In the story “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, a woman is arrested for murdering her husband. There are three men and two women that return to Minnie Foster’s house in order to find evidence against her for the offense. This story is published in the era, which is considered male dominated. Men think that they are superior to woman in the sense that the women stay in the kitchen and are only there for the men to “escape the charge of sneaking” (Fetterley 287). The attitudes of the Sheriff and the County Attorney are so locked into their preconceptions of women, which they fail to recognize Minnie Foster has murdered her husband. When they first enter the house, the county attorney makes a joke about the kitchen not having anything of magnitude. He seems to talk down to the women during the entire story. He then looked inside the cupboard in the kitchen and says, “Here’s a fine mess” (Glaspell 256). This is another form of talking down to women, meaning the kitchen is the women’s place and it should be kept tidy. He also comments on all the hard work Minnie put into her preserves and says, “…she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about” (256). The county attorney’s opinion is that women are just simple, trivial people that are used to worrying over “trifles” (256). The county attorney also underestimates the women and does not think they can pick out anything dangerous to bring to the jail so he does not investigate the things they have packed. Mr. Hale, at one point, made a remark about the women being able to comprehend a clue if they came upon one. The county attorney made a statement that “a…sheriff’s wife is married to the law” (265). The reader can take this as meaning the women are entitled to tell them about any variety of evidence that they may happen across.

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