Trifles vs. a Jury of Her Peers

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Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers” is more effective than her play Trifles at depicting the marginalization of women. Given only the text of the stories, and not taking into consideration the acting in the play, “Jury” far surpasses Trifles in conveying how women were basically disregarded as having any insight into “manly” matters such as a murder investigation. Trifles was written in 1916 and “Jury” was written in 1917. During this time period women were thought to be lower than men and unable to comprehend matters that were more important. The roles of women as “workers” were downgraded extensively, never taking into account just how hard the work is doing all of the household chores everyday, and preparing and planning for the future.

In the first paragraph of “Jury” Glaspell sets up a later scene in the story, while in Trifles it is left to ones imagination and maybe intuition, to discern the meaning. In “Jury,” Glaspell, writing as an insider to Mrs. Hale’s thoughts, gives more details and descriptions to the scene. (190). In Trifles there is no mention of Mrs. This first paragraph goes into detail about how Mrs. Hale left her kitchen in disarray because she had to leave in a hurry. Hale’s kitchen. The later scene in both works shows that Minnie Foster’s kitchen, too, has been left with dishes piled up and baking supplies left out, because of having to leave so quickly. This later scene is meant to demonstrate how Mrs. Foster left in a hurry, but without the description given in “Jury” it is not readily apparent.

The first real insight into the marginalization of women is when Mr. Hale says “But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it?” (“Jury” 196). There is no mention of this in Trifles. The statement in “Jury” begins to delve into how women are foolish and fickle and have no idea what would constitute motive for murder. At the very end of both “Jury” and Trifles the men and the women have, separately, come...
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