Who is the narrator of "A Jury of Her Peers"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The narrator in "A Jury of Her Peers" is cast as a third person omniscient voice.  The narrator gives an"objective" rendering of the facts, not speaking in any one person's voice, but speaking through all of their voices.  I think a case can be made that the narrator is Glaspell, herself.  Certainly, we can presume that Glaspell's time as a journalist in Iowa, the fact that she asserts that the play is based off of an actual case of a woman killing her husband in Iowa, and that she creates these characters reflecting social biases of the time can all attest to these facts.  The narrator tells us the story where we see men making disparaging comments about the women, and points it out to us, while omitting other details.  The story being presented here is one of a crime, but it also serves as social commentary as women, domesticated women, solve the crime, not the patriarchal elements of law enforcement.  We are not really told what gender the narrator is, but given the fact that the story does hold with it a focus for the empowerment of women and Glaspell's own relationship to the case with her background, we might not be too surprised if it turns out to be a woman narrating the story.

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