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Minnie's Desolation Essay

816 words - 4 pages

Susan Glaspell writer of the short story "A Jury of Her Peers" details the isolated rural farm house of Minnie Wright and Mr.Wright. Glaspell advocates for the equality of woman and hopes to warn the readers of the difference between the law and what is actually right. She conveys the meaning of her theme by describing a case of a deprived woman, Minnie, who is absolutely isolated from any other kind of companionship except for her husband's, which is "like a raw hard wind that gets to the bone." (Glaspell 198) Although Minnie isn't present at the time of the investigation, the setting of her house lets the readers know some of the various kinds of isolation she deals with for twenty years before being sent to jail.The different kinds of isolation that Minnie experiences are symbolized in the objects and information Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters share and discover while being at the scene of the incident.

Minnie's youthful life was the complete opposite to her current life. Mrs. Hale spoke of her youth and said "she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively-when she was Minnie Foster." (Glaspell 195) But now all Minnie wears is "a shabby black shirt that bore the marks of much making over" along with the same "gray shawl". (Glaspell 195) Minnie's lively spirit and style of clothing evoke a stage in her life where she was joyful and free from a man who didn't represent her. However, now that she bears her husbands last name, Minnie Wright wears shabby dull clothes that represent her unhappiness as well as her unsatisfactory marriage. Minnie is isolated from her youth and is forced to leave it all behind because of her hard husbands tightfisted personality. Mrs. Wright has dealt with her abusive husband who has metaphorically kept her in a "bird-cage." (Glaspell 198) Mrs. Hale compares her to a kind of bird "...real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and fluttery." (Glaspell 198) Then with a sigh Mrs. Hale points out her extreme alteration. Glaspell uses an antithesis by putting aside the opposite stages of Minnie's life. By doing so Glaspell emphazises Minnie's dejected and isolated life in the farm house with that of her happy youth. Mrs. Hale points out that Minnie was joyful when she was in the choir similar to her canary bird before it was put to death by her husband. Even...

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