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Essay about Gender Roles in Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers and Trifles

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Gender Roles in Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers and Trifles  


Twentieth century society places few stereotypical roles on men and women.  The men are not the sole breadwinners, as they once were, and the women are no longer the sole homemakers.  The roles are often reversed, or, in the case of both parents working, the old roles are totally inconsequential.  Many works of literature deal with gendered roles and their effect on society as a whole or on an individual as a person.  "A Jury Of Her Peers" and Trifles, both written by Susan Glaspell, are works of literature that deal with socially gendered roles during the early nineteenth century.  The two works are almost exactly alike in that the dialogue from "A Jury Of Her Peers" becomes the actor's lines in Trifles.  The gendered roles in the early 1900s place the woman in the kitchen, serving meals, baking bread, and canning fruits and jellies.  She was also expected to be a mother to her children and a caretaker to her husband.  The man, on the other hand, was expected to take care of his family, providing the home and the food that the wife would prepare.  Often when gender plays too much a part in a household, communication is lost.  The husband can not see a person when he looks at his wife.  This was the case in "A Jury Of Her Peers" and Trifles.  The men totally ignored their wives'  thoughts and roles, and, therefore, they missed the entire point of the real motive behind Mr. Wright's murder.  The social gap between men and women in the early 1800s provided the basis for Glaspell's story, "A Jury Of her Peers" and her play, Trifles.

In 1917 when "A Jury Of Her Peers" was written, women were the homemakers.  Although Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale fit the domest...


... middle of paper ...


...ll her husband will also be her salvation.

Works Cited and Consulted

Glaspell, Susan.  "A Jury of Her Peers." Literature and the Writing Process.  Eds.  Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk. 4th Ed.  Upper Saddle River:  Prentice, 1996. 293-307.

Glaspell, Susan.  Trifles.  Literature and the Writing Process.  Eds. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk. 4th Ed.  Upper Saddle River:  Prentice, 1996. 999-1008.

Glaspell, Susan. "Trifles." Plays by Susan Glaspell. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company,  Inc., 1920. Reprinted in Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama.  X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia Eds. New York: Harper Collins Publisher, 1995.    

Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. Ed. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2000. 127-137.


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