A Jury of Her Peers, by Susan Glaspell


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Glaspell spent more than forty years working as a journalist, fiction writer, playwright and promoter of various artistic. She is a woman who lived in a male dominated society. She is the author of a short story titled A Jury of Her Peers. She was inspired to write this story when she investigated in the homicide of John Hossack, a prosperous county warren who had been killed in his sleep(1).Such experience in Glaspell’s life stimulated inspiration. The fact that she was the first reporter on scene, explains that she must have found everything still in place, that makes an incredible impression. She feels what Margaret (who is Minnie Wright in the story) had gone through, that is, she has sympathy for her. What will she say about Margaret? Will she portray Margaret as the criminal or the woman who’s life has been taken away? In the short story Minnie Wright was the victim. Based on evidence at the crime scene, it is clear that Minnie has killed her husband; however, the women have several reasons for finding her “not guilty” of the murder of John Wright.
First, When Martha and Mrs. Peters arrive at the scene of the crime, they see that it is a very lonely place off the road. The house is in a hollow, with lone-some looking trees around it(1).Mr. Hale thinks that having a phone to communicate with rest of the world in such place will reduce loneliness although Mr. Wright does not want communication(2). Minnie lives a miserable life in this place. Martha cannot believe that this is what Minnie foster has turned into. She describes her rocker, and says: “ that rocker don’t look in the least like Minnie foster. The Minnie foster of twenty years before”(3). The rocker is a very old rocker with a faded color and few parts of it are missing. Also, Mrs. Hale thinks it is a torture for Minnie to wrestle with the stove year after year because that stove is in a very poor condition(8). These are some few examples that show how miserable Minnie is in such a lonely place.

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"A Jury of Her Peers, by Susan Glaspell." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Dec 2017
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Second, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. peter sympathize with Minnie. Living in a lonely place as that of Minnie, is awful. Martha feels so guilty not to have visited Minnie sometimes because her house is not cheerful, and she describes her husband as a hard men to live with. According to what Martha is saying, it shows that she cannot bear a husband like Wright, and she blames herself of not comforting Minnie often. At one point Martha tries to put herself in Minnie’s shoes while examining the stove. She eventually notices that she cannot even cook on a stove like Minnie’s(8). Minnie is so mad at her husband because he has probably killed her bird. This is when Mrs. peters understands what Minnie must have gone through When she recalls how her kitten was killed by a boy, and she would have hurt him if she was not held back(13). The women come to realize that they all go through the same things, that is why they can understand Minnie’s life that is killed by her hard and dominant husband in that lonely place where no one could see the road.
Finally, Minnie Wright lives in a house off the city. Minnie is a lonely person. However, no one ever visits Minnie because her house is not a cheerful one as Mrs. Hale admits to Mrs. peters(11). Minnie has lived for almost twenty years in that lonesome place and it has transformed her in to a different person. She used to be lively and outgoing, but her dominant husband suppressed her good qualities. Minnie’s husband did only what will please him. He did not care much about her. And in such a situation, a woman becomes frustrated, and it feels like she is cut off of the world. Her husband’s characters towards her changes her personality. The story tells about how lively and open she was when she was Minnie Foster (14), and then she became a quiet and timid person when she got married to Wright(7). Minnie is a woman with a lot of unresolved conflicts and she might have experienced a lot of repression in her life as Minnie Wright. However, the unresolved conflicts in her life can be explained by the uneven block of the quilt she has sewn. The women say that, that block looks as if she did not know what she is about(10). As Martha explained “you don’t enjoy things when you feel shabby”(7).
In conclusion both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters had no right to hide the evidence because Minnie has killed her Husband. If the women had not hidden the evidence, the investigations could show that Minnie needs psychological help because of her horrible life. It is probable that she has become a dangerous individual for the society. The fact that she has had a lot of repressed urges may have turned her into a psychotic person who can hurt people without meaning to. However, based on the evidence at the crime scene, Minnie is guilty of the crime.




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