Essay, Research Paper: College Paper On Sexuality


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Since the time when Eve set herself apart from Adam by consuming the forbidden
fruit, there always has been vast differences in the way men and women conduct
themselves. These differences are very common among sexes, and are also easy to
distinguish. For instance, more women tend to cry in sad movies than men do.
This is because women are more emotional than men and can often express their
feelings easier. But probably the most popular difference between men and women
would be how women have the ability to go shopping for an entire day whereas men
will leave after they get what they want. These differences between men and
women are constantly being portrayed in the media, and moreover literature. The
piece of literature I will discuss is Susan Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers,
where Glaspell exemplifies the differences between men and women as they conduct
their investigation of the murder of Mr. Wright. From the beginning of the
investigation, the men and women had vast differences in the way they went about
looking for substantial evidence. For instance, the men approached the house
with confidence and seemed to feel indifferent towards the situation even though
the murder victim was a close acquaintance. But the women approached the house
with caution and hesitation. Mrs. Martha Hale's first thought as she encountered
the crime scene was how in the past she thought, "I ought to go over and
see Minnie Foster". Martha regretted the fact that she never visited her
long time friend except when it was too late. Also, when the county attorney
asked Mr. Hale what happened the day before, Mrs. Hale was worried that he would
add unnecessary comments and make things harder on Minnie Foster. This indicates
that Martha Hale immediately sympathized with Minnie Foster although she had
done something as wrong as killing. Instead of acknowledging the fact that
Minnie Foster committed murder, she looks past this and inquires what could
possibly induce her to do so. Relevant to this go back to the idea that she
wished she would've visited Minnie earlier. Martha Hale assumed that loneliness
was a big factor which drove Minnie to do such a thing. Next, the attorney being
a male, functioned as a robot would; he had no feelings towards what happened.
Right after Mr. Hale told his version of what happened, the attorney continued
with, "I guess we'll go upstairs first-then out to the barn and around
there." The attorney didn't express any sympathy whatsoever, but was more
concerned with getting on with the investigation. When the attorney found a mess
of Minnie Foster's preserved fruit, Mrs. Hale replied with, "Oh-her
fruit", and explained how Minnie was worried that the jars of her preserves
might burst. On the other hand, Mr. Peters returned the statement with
"Well, can you beat the woman! Held for murder, and worrying about her
preserves!" But what separated the men from the women was when the sheriff
decided that there was nothing but "kitchen things" in the kitchen
which lead them upstairs in search for evidence. As the men moved upstairs,
there were a number of significant differences in the way the men and women
conducted the investigation. First of all, the men went upstairs and the women
remained in the kitchen both in hopes of finding convicting evidence. The men,
being more logical went straight to the crime scene, yet the women were more
concerned with Minnie Foster's whereabouts and what she was doing around the
time of the murder. Besides this, the women are more careful with everything and
take the time to examine things thoroughly unlike the men who seem to rush
things until they find what they want. For instance, Mrs. Hale noticed that the
bag of sugar in the kitchen was half full, and remembered in her own home how
she left the flour half sifted because she was interrupted. In result, Mrs. Hale
concluded with the fact that Minnie Foster was interrupted for some reason and
began to wonder what it was. Furthermore, when Mrs. Peters went to retrieve
Minnie's clothes they examined how shabby it appeared and figured that when you
look good, you feel good and that Minnie was not as happy as she used to be.
Another example of the women's ways of careful observation is when Mrs. Peters
found a quilt Minnie Foster began and wondered whether or not she quilted it or
knotted it. Most men wouldn't look so far as to ask how the quilt was made, yet
the women were possessed by its beauty. In fact, the men laughed at the women
for inquiring such a thing. Not only did they wonder how it was constructed, but
they discovered that at first the quilt was stitched fine and evenly, however
one block was stitched quite differently. In the time that the women discovered
all this information which could lead to conviction, the men were finished
upstairs and did not find any sufficient evidence. While the men moved outside
to the barn area, the women were still inside the kitchen looking for evidence.
Although the women were searching for convicting evidence, they also planned to
hide it. One example of this occurred when Mrs. Hale patched up the quilt that
was blemished by repairing a few stitches. As the story reaches its' climax, the
women find the dead bird wrapped up in Minnie Foster's sewing box. Moreover, the
bird was not just killed, but it was tortured by having its neck wrung. The
women hid this crucial evidence from the men because they could relate to how
Minnie Foster must have felt at the time. Mrs. Peters said, "I know what
stillness is", "When we homesteaded in Dakota, and my first baby
died-after he was two years old -and me with no other then-." Obviously,
she could put herself in Minnie Foster's position and empathize with how she
felt being so alone. Living in a house isolated down a long road, and being at
home alone while her husband worked can drive a woman to insanity. Not to
mention, her treasured pet bird was killed heartlessly by her husband. In the
women's eyes, Minnie Foster has a good reason to kill her husband and they felt
the right thing to do was to disguise the evidence which could convict her. It
is amazing how the women found the convicting evidence and also discovered why
Minnie Foster committed the crime. The men on the other hand didn't find the
substantial evidence they were looking for. In addition, word puns were used to
communicate the innocence of Minnie Foster when the men asked if she was going
to quilt it or knot it, the women answered, "She was going to knot
it." Quilt it represents the fact that she was guilty and knot it, that she
was not. In the final part of the investigation, the women succeeded in
detecting the proof they needed to convict or save Minnie Foster. As you can
see, the women are far different from the men since they go by emotions and tend
to sympathize with other women. On the other hand, the men are more likely to
think rationally and somewhat narrow-minded. In this case of A Jury of Her
Peers, thinking practically lead the men nowhere. Whether or not hiding the
evidence was morally wrong or not, they concluded if they were in Minnie
Foster's shoes they would do the same thing too. Glaspell did a great job in
displaying the contrasts in the way women and men conduct themselves. By
dividing the men and women in the story and observing the outcome of the
investigation, you can understand how sometimes thinking logically is not always
the best thing to do.
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