Susan Glaspell Essay

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Matthew Bugno English 1302 4 April 2013 Susan Glaspell Known primarily as a playwright, Glaspell's short fiction went largely unnoticed until 1973 when her short story, “Jury of Her Peers” was rediscovered. Though the author of forty-three short stories, Glaspell's “Jury of Her Peers” is her most widely anthologized piece of short fiction and is based on an actual court case Glaspell covered as a reporter for the Des Moines Daily, in which women were not allowed to serve as jurors. Glaspell created a jury of these female peers in her story to mete out their own form of justice. The story, which she adapted from her one-act play Trifles in 1917, has attracted the attention of feminist scholars for its treatment of gender-related themes, like the struggle of women in a male-dominated society. On its surface, “Jury of Her Peers” appears a simple detective story, but through extensive dialogue between two women, Glaspell slowly reveals that her story is really more of a commentary about female oppression, justice, the confirming nature of rigid stereotypes, and the differences in perspective between men and women. The continuing popularity of Susan Glaspell’s story, “Jury of Her Peers,” and the play “Trifles” from, which it emerged, cannot really be explained by an examination of the plot (Alkalay-Gut 1). Two housewives, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters accompany their husbands while they investigate the murder of Mr. Wright by his wife, Mrs. Wright, otherwise known as Minnie Foster. After Mr. Hale’s description of what he had come across the day before, the men continue their investigation in the bedroom of the Wright’s home, where the strangled body of Mr. Wright was discovered. They jokingly leave the housewives in the kitchen in search of clues. It is here that the actual clues indicating the motive of the murderess are revealed by the housewives, but withheld from the

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