All authors write so they can deliver certain ethical and moral opinions to their audience. In the short story "A Jury of Her Peers", the author Susan Glaspell uses the story to show how women are overlooked many times, when they should not be. In the story, there is a murder and two women and three men go to the crime scene to investigate. While they are at the scene the men, who have the legal positions in the story, overlook most of what the women say. In the end the women find evidence to prove a women guilty of the murder but they do no tell the men, because of the way the men treated them. While Glaspell shows how women are overlooked, at the same time she portrays men in a very negative way.
The three men in the story are the sheriff, Mr. Peters, the county attorney, Mr. Henderson, and a man named Mr. Hale. Throughout the story all the men in the story are shown to be unintelligent, uncaring, and overall sexist towards women. All throughout the story the men were depicted as not being very intelligent.
Throughout the story the author illustrates them overlooking clues and not paying attention to very much detail in the investigation. A critique of the story titled "Twelve Good Men or Two Good Women", by Mary Bendel-Simso, explains the reason for the men's stupidity as, "While the women can seek Justice for other women, the men in Daugherty 2 charge of the case-by their very nature as men-can seek Justice only for men, and can only impose Law upon women" (Bendel-Simso). This states that the men in the story only looked at the case from a man's point of view and did not really care about what could have happened to cause the woman to kill her husband. This explanation of the story shows the author was attempting to portray men in a negative fashion, because they were not smart enough to take an approach from a woman's point of view. In "A Jury of Her Peers", Glaspell goes out of her way to make sure men are seen as uncaring. During many parts of the story, a woman would make a comment and then a man would criticize her shortly after.
A good example of this in the story is when the two women in the story examine a quilt the murderer was making, and then this happens, "The sheriff threw up his hands. 'They wonder whether she was to quilt it or just knot it!' " (Glaspell). This shows the sheriff being extremely uncaring towards the women in the story, because he criticizes the women for trying to help. The author was obviously trying to depict men in a negative light, because there were many occurrences just like this one in the story.
During several other parts of the story, the women would mention something very important, and the men would not even bother to pay attention to what they said. Ultimately this shows the men not caring about important parts of the case and this is another way the author depicts men in a negative manner. The whole story is based on men's attitudes towards women, and in the story the men have very sexist attitudes towards the women in the story. Pretty much the men in the story do not pay attention to the women because they thought the women were not valuable in the investigation. At one point in the story Mr.
Hale states, "But would the Daugherty 3 women know a clue if they did come upon it?" (Glaspell). This truly shows men in a negative fashion, because the author shows the men in the story think they are better than the women are. This shows the men in the story as being sexist, because they think they are more capable than the women for no reason at all. A critique of the story called "A Jury of Her Peers", by Laura Zaidman, states, "They also retaliate against the men's arrogant air of superiority. The men's supposedly logical, intelligent methods of investigation lead to naught, whereas the women's intuitive, emotional responses to their "sister" probably will save Minnie's life" (Zaidman). This portrays the men in the story as feeling that they are superior to the women and at the same time shows men in a negative light by having the women solve the case.
The author portrays men in a negative light in this story by depicting them as being sexist towards the women in the story. The author most likely portrays men in this manner, because the story was first published in 1927 and society was much different back then. Men at that time did not pay as much attention to women as people do today. Also men from this time held pretty much all positions of power, and probably truly felt that women were inferior. So it is understandable for a woman author from this time period to depict men in a negative fashion, because she had probably been mistreated by men her whole life. Another good reason for the author to depict men in a negative fashion is that Glaspell probably wanted to provoke change within the society.
Every author writes to get across ethical and moral ideas to their audience. In this case Susan Glaspell was doing this by depicting men in a negative fashion, so there would be a change brought to the way women are treated.