The 1900’s were tough times for women in America. Some women survived by faith in God and some women took matters into their own hands. Those were desperate times and these strong women did what they had to.
Susan Glaspell born in 1876 Grew up in Davenport Iowa and Zora Neale Hurston born in 1891 grew up in Eatonville Florida. Both women grew up in very different parts of the country but they both grew up struggling against a patriarchal culture. Despite that, both Susan and Zora, at an early age refused to accept the roles society placed on them. They were free thinkers and had big plans, which their writings reveal. - Letter from Zora Neale Hurston to Countee Cullen, "I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search…show more content… I will show how two women’s lives were turned upside down by the gender roles the culture they lived in placed upon them. I will discuss how each character deals with their expected social roles and how it compromises their marriages. I will also compare and contrast how relationships played a part in the lives of the characters. I will start by examining “A Jury of Her Peers,” followed by “Sweat.”
A Jury of Her Peers is said to have been inspired by true events witnessed during Susan Glaspell years as a court reporter in Iowa. It is also believed that the women in the story; Martha Hale, and Mrs. Peters were created because women were not allowed to be jurors during that time (Napierkowski). So the symbolism of the women is that they are the jury.
The story takes place in the early 1900's in a rural community in the mid-west. Because the weather is cold and the canning of the fruit was just finished I believe the season to be…show more content… In the emotional winds her domestic trials were borne far and wide so that she sang as she drove homeward” (Hurston). In the end Sykes' own abusive actions throughout the story wind up being his downfall. When the snake that Sykes uses to scare Delia gets loose and bites him, the sun rises steadily during his dying process. This sun rise is symbolic of the virtue of Delia being victorious over all the negativity and evil that Sykes represents. When Sykes is dead, the sun has finally risen. The light of goodness shines in the celebration of evil's death (Hurston).
In both “A Jury of Her Peers” and “Sweat,” the women escape the misery of their husbands. The difference in the two women is that Minnie couldn’t take the misery anymore. Dalia’s good faith and spirit freed her from her misery.
Another difference in the two women is that Minnie was isolated from society. Dalia had her friends and her church.
A Jury of Her Peers: Introduction." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 1998. eNotes.com. January 2006. 10 February 2008. <http://www.enotes.com/jury-her/introduction>.
Hurston, Zora, Neale. Sweat. 5 February 2008 <http://intro-to-literature.wikispaces.com/Sweat>.
Media Sonnet, (2007). Zora Neale Hurston. Retrieved 7 February 2008, from Collins Harper
Program. June 23, 2008. http://nationalexpositor.com/News/1285.html (accessed July 28, 2009). Patterson, Thomas C. "Inventing Civilization." In Inventing Western Civilization, by Thomas C. Patterson, 9-25. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1997.