Beware the Dog by Roald Dahl and Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell


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Short stories seem to hold the reader in the dark until the very end. The truth is usually revealed by the author on the last few pages. However, the authors' sometimes let the conclusion up to the reader. The title of the stories can be a major hint of how the author wants you to think. "Beware the Dog" by Roald Dahl could also be titled: "Things are not What They Seem to be." "A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell you must conclude that without the ladies evidence that Mrs. Wright may get off.

The stories both take place in one room settings a kitchen and a hospital room (Similarity). The first story, "Beware of the Dog" is told in first person (the Pilot) (Contrast #1). He talks of being hit in his Spitfire and losing his one leg. He goes in and out of conscious and he rambles with thoughts of getting back to England. However, he wakes up in a hospital room and is told he is in Brighton, England. He begins to recover and starts to question things in his own mind. He lay listening to sounds of what seems to be Junkers 88 German planes in daylight. He does not here any air raid sirens. He questions his one nurse. She brushes it off as he was dreaming. He heard another plane he could not identify. Finally, he receives a sponge bath from the nurse. She remarks about how hard the water is to make soap suds. He thinks to himself that when he was in Brighton for training the water was soft. He was able to finally get enough strength to crawl to the window and look out. He reads a sign the said "Gardeau Chien" As he looked out at the country side "So this is France," he said (Similarities /Suspicions/one Fact). "I am in France" Te story concludes with the pilot, Mr. Peter Williamson, giving his name, rank, and serial number to the fake RAF Officer (Contrast/Final Conclusion).

"Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell is told by a third party through
the eyes of Mr. Hale's Wife (Martha). Martha Hale is a farmer's wife from the next farm over. She knew the victim Mr.

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Wright and she knew Mrs. Wright (Minnie Foster) since their childhood. She relates to how things around the house must be completed as there is no time to go back to do things later. When Mr. Hale stops to try to convince Mr. Wright to install phone service he discovers Mrs. Wright in the kitchen and the finds Mr. Wright's dead body upstairs. Mrs. Wright is taken into custody. The next day, the Sheriff with his wife, the County Attorney (Young Henderson) along with Mr. and Mrs. Hale return to the farm house to look for evidence and the women were to get some things for Mrs. Wright to wear while being held in jail. They were to wait the go ahead by the Sheriff as not to destroy evidence. As the men looked for evidence, the ladies sat in the kitchen and observed several things that only a woman would probably noticed. Things were left half-done on the table, the bird cage door was broken, and the knitting patches were perfect except for a top few that were miss-stitched. The ladies talked about how Minnie Foster was a happy teenage and love to sing. They talked about how depression must happen over the years and how lonely she must have been. The Sheriff's wife admits about her own depression with the lost of a two-year old child. Finally, they discover the bird with its broken neck that was twisted (Similarities/Suspicions /two facts). They concluded what they knew would conflict Mrs. Wright. They destroy and got rid of the evidence for Mrs. Wright (Minnie Foster) would be let go (Contrast/ Ending left up to you). However, the story ends with the County Attorney hanging out at the house.
The Doctor was not interview about the crime scene and Mr. Wright's body, yet.

You are left with a final ending in the first story and in the second story you are left hoping the Minnie Foster (Mrs. Wright ) being held as a the murder suspect is left go (Contrast). However, she admits to being in bed when Mr. Wright was killed. She claims that she never woke-up. Will, Mrs. Wright go to trial???

Finally, both authors do a good job of holding back and letting the stories unfold slowly.
You know the conclusion in the first story and in the second you must decide the ending for yourself. The stories, therefore, showed some similar aspects as well as some major differences. The stories were very enjoyable to read.

A few of the similarities that existed between the stories were as follows: Both main characters (Mr. Peter and Mrs. Wright) are being held captive. No children were involved as characters. The Theme of both stories was in looking for the truth. The authors also maintain a small amount of suspense by making the clues somewhat vague. However, both stories deal with pain and suffering in both mind and body. Finally, you are able to understand how the authors came up with their titles.

A few of the differences (contrasts) were as follows: "Beware the Dog" is a story that takes place in France. "A Jury of Her Peers" could have taken place in any country. The story "Beware the Dog" deals with enemy deception from the truth whereas the "Jury of Her Peers" deals with morals issues of what is justice and did mental depression have a role. Simply, did Mrs. Wright suffer mental incompetence? Finally, in the "Beware the Dog" the trauma stems from the plane being hit by enemy fire. However, in "A Jury of Her Peers" the trauma comes for years of abuse and depression which lead to the death of Mr. Wright.


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