How do the men and women read details differently in “A Jury Of Her Peers”?
Sex, gender, and gender roles play a major part in A Jury of Her Peers in the aspect of how the details in the Wright house are observed by the men and women. The men have more an aggressive stand point and the women have an understanding view. From reading the story it shows that during the time it was written men saw women as just housekeepers and not women who should think much. The women seemed as though it did not matter what they felt or had to say they wouldn’t go against the word of a man. In society the gender role of a man is to be tough and less empathetic towards situations and a women’s role was just the opposite, they have to be soft, timid and sympathetic. These gender roles are the exact ones used in “A Jury of Her Peers”.
In Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of her Peers” the men are more focused on how things should be at home in the perspective that a woman is supposed to keep the house clean and ready for her husband. When they first entered the house all they could pay attention to was how dirty and unorthodox the house was. “Here’s a nice mess” as said by county attorney, and “Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” as said by the sheriff, shows that they focused on the wrong details and based their judgments of Mrs. Wright on her housekeeping skills. The men were blinded by their views of woman which causes them to not understand or want to understand why the house may look in such despair. Instead of saying to themselves or each other that maybe something was wrong with the marriage as a whole they just figured she was bad at cleaning. The men acted as if the women couldn’t possible understand what was going on and that their only job was to get the belongings Mrs. Wright asked for. For example, when Mrs. Hale says “Do you suppose she was going to quilt it or just knot it?” (referring to the quilt) and the sheriff made a mockery of her by throwing his hands up and saying “They wonder whether she was going to quilt it or just knot it!” in a sarcastic manner. Because the men went to the house with tunnel vision of only looking at where Mr. Wright was killed they didn’t see the most important pieces as the women did.
The women looked around the house trying to find clues to say what lead up to the murder. They found all the important pieces because they understand what it is to be a wife and a woman. Therefore they took the time to see what would make her snap if she is the one who killed Mr. Wright. Mrs. Hale knew the type of person Mrs. Wright was which made her want to look deeper. The women found all the relevant details such as the cage, dead bird, messy quilts and shabby clothing. Gender roles is what made the men and women look at the details differently, the men looked at what wasn’t right and the women looked at why these things in the Wright house weren’t right.