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A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell

A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell is a story of a woman named Mrs. Foster-Wright. She was a woman who was taken to jail after a man called Mr. Hale and his son came to see if her husband, Mr. Wright would like to join in with the other neighbors to get a phone. As Mr. Hale comes inside, he notices Mrs. Wright sitting in her chair acting very nervous. He asks her where her husband is and she pointed upstairs. Mr. Hale asked to see him but she says “Cause he’s dead” (185). He indeed finds Mr. Wright upstairs dead by a rope around his neck. The next day they take Mrs.

Wright in custody and send a group of people to check out their house for clues. The group includes the sheriff, his wife, Mrs. Hale and Mr. Hale. When they reach the Wright house, the men went upstairs to discuss the murder scene and look for clues. They leave the women downstairs to gather things and to look for clues. The women do indeed find the clues to implicate Mrs. Wright and the men do not. The ladies decide not to turn in Mrs. Wright because they feel sorry for her. The reason that the ladies do not tun in Mrs. Wright is because she is a sensitive, creative, and submissive woman.

The bird that Mrs. Wright has and cares for shows the sensitivity of her soul. When the women step into the kitchen one of the first thing that they notice is the bird cage. The bird was sold to her by a door to door salesman. The bird also suggests the lonliness she has. Mrs. Wright cared for the bird so much that when her husband killed it, she avenged its death. She mourned the bird after it was gone and it served as the final straw that broke the camel’s back. The women also noticed the untidyness of the kitchen. Everything looked like it was “a nice mess” (186).

Also when Mrs. Wright is in jail she starts to worry about her fruit she had put away. She said that “she said the fire would go out and her jars would burst” (186). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters decide to tell her that her fruit jars were fine and that they did not burst. The next character trait that the ladies said that Mrs. Wright possesed was her creativity. At the beginning of the story when Mr. Hale told the sheriff his story he noted that Mrs. Wright was “pleatin her apron” (186). Perhaps pleating her apron was just running it through her hands or it could have been that she was sewing it or fixing a hole or something like that.

Another example of Mrs. Wright, Minnie’s , creativity is her unfinished quilt in her closet. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters found the quilt while looking for clothes for her. The quilt was a “log cabin pattern” (190) a difficult pattern to quilt and it was in pieces in her quilting basket. Mrs. Hale noted the “fine, even sewing” (190). A skilled quiltsman(woman), would be able to do these stiches easily and elegantly. The last character trait that Mrs. Wright possessed was submissiveness. Mrs. Wright was a submissive woman toward her husband. He seemed to be a cruel man who wanted his wife to himself.

Her submissiveness was the lead into her husband’s murder. All around the house there are examples of her submissiveness to her husband. The first example is the kitchen, which the group entered has a few of those things. The stove for instance in unkept. Mrs. Hale went to the stove and saw that the lining was “torn” and she wondered to herself what it would have been like to “wrestle year after year” with that stove (190). Mrs. Wright had never complained to anyone about her stove. Another example is the outside of the house. It was unkept outside as well as it was inside.

There were no gardens, shrubbery or cheerfulness. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters spoke with the men about this also. They said it was not a “lonesome place”(192) and was living with Mr. Wright”(187). This life was no life for any woman. In conclusion, the lesson learned in this story is “Desperate times call for desperate measures” Prior to meeting her husband, Mrs. Wright was a happy woman. To everyone around her she was a sensitive, creative and submissive person. What made her finally lose it all and end her marriage in cold blood; or was it self defense?

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