A Jury Of Her Peers Theme BY Ikh6 In Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers” multiple themes are present such as freedom, compassion, and sympathy, but the main theme the author focuses on is oppression, specifically towards women. In order to reveal this theme the author uses the literary device allusion, and also cause and effect and ethos. The use of allusion helps reveal the theme with indirect implications. Cause and effect helps the reader see how the way Mrs.
Wright was being treated and how that caused her to allegedly ill her husband, and finally ethos emotionally connected the female characters, adding to evidence of the theme of oppression. The author uses allusion to help reveal the theme of the story. Allusion is first used in the title because the author implies without directly saying that the two women Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, are Mrs. Wright’s Jury of her peers, knowing that back in that time period she would not get a fair Jury of her peers that would understand what she was going through. Martha Hale snatched the box from the sheriffs wife, and ot it in the pocket of her big coat Just as the sheriff and county attorney came back into the kitchen. ” (Glaspell 259). The allusion in this example and the title also provides irony because the Jury of peers Mrs. Wright was given were all men. This is ironic because the setting of the poem is about 1910-1917, which was around the same time the Women’s Suffrage Movement was gaining momentum. During that time period there were a lot of things women could not do, and serving as a Juror was one of them.
To have the women symbolically serve as a Jury of Ms. Wright’s peers meant a lot and showed that in court the Jurors would not have viewed the case with an open mind or insight into the female mind because to men women were considered inferior. Overall the use of allusion helped the author with revealing the theme by providing an ironic and dual meaning to “A Jury of Her Peers”. The author also uses cause and effect to effectively show the theme of the story. One of the main events in the story is Mrs. Wright’s alleged killing of her husband.
The oppression and way she was being treated caused her to kill her husband. The cause and effect allows the reader to see a buildup of events of what almost certainly led Mrs. Wright to kill her husband, and to see the way she was being treated. Mrs. Peters talks about how “a boy took a hatchet” (Glaspell 256) in reference to her cat and how that caused her to want to hurt him. This clearly related to Mrs. Wright’s situation. Mrs. Wright had a bird that sang “a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too” (256), and when her husband killed that bird symbolically it was the same as killing her.
So, she killed her husband for killing her. Cause and effect enables the reader to see and understand the theme of oppression by seeing how Mrs. Wright was treated and what it drove her to do. Therefore cause and effect played an important role in helping the author reveal the theme of the story. Another technique the author uses is ethos. Mrs. Wright is isolated from the outside world and she doesn’t get the attention from her husband she wishes she could. wnen Mrs. Hale states, “on I wlsn l’o come over nere once In a wnlle! Inat was a crime! Who’s going to punish that? pg #missing), shows the emotion of the character. It lets the reader know that Mrs. Wright was not being treated right and it was known by others. Mrs. Hale starts feeling guilty for herself and the choice of ethos in this story adds to the evidence of how Mrs. Wright was being treated and being oppressed by her husband. Therefore, ethos helped the author reveal the theme of oppression to the audience. Susan Glaspell uses many techniques that are not named in this essay but the main techniques she uses in the story are allusion, cause and effect, and ethos.
These echniques played an important role in helping the author reveal the theme of oppression to the reader. In the story women are considered inferior and aren’t regarded as serious. The symbolism in the story is very important and everything said or every object has a deeper meaning. Mrs. Wright was being accused of killing her husband, and what the men in the story where unaware of was the way she was being treated by her husband and being oppressed. So, by using the previously stated techniques Glaspell reveals the theme to the reader. Works Cited: Glaspell, Susan. AJury of Her Peers.