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A Jury of Her Peers

A Jury of Her Peers

A possible introduction for a research paper on A Jury of Her Peers:

A Jury of Her Peers is a short story about murder, abuse and the death of the spirit in a rural farmhouse outside a small community. The story is a simple conversation between two women that reveals the true nature of the crime through symbolism and the haunting scenario that Susan Glaspell paints.

The main characters of the story are as follows:

  • Martha Hale
  • Martha's Husband
  • The Sheriff
  • The Sheriff's Wife
  • Longtime resident and acquaintance of all the other Characters - Mr. Wright

A Jury of Her Peers Crime Scene

The sheriff and his accompaniment happened upon the scene of the Wright murder to investigate the crime scene and pick up a few items of clothing for Mrs. Wright. While the men investigated the house and the outer premises, the women went into the kitchen to wait for them to finish. Martha Hale engaged the sheriff's wife in conversation about the canning that Mrs. Wright had recently completed. She had made cherry jam and all the jars had broken in cool of the storage. This scene is the first we see that the two women begin to sympathize with Mrs. Wright. They comment on how they will simply tell her that her jars are fine and save her from any worry of a mess at home.

Looking around the kitchen further, the sheriff's wife discovers a bird cage. The door of the birdcage is bent and broken. The two women comment that Mrs. Wright was not the type of woman to have a bird but that it suited her personality well. In her younger days, Mrs. Wright was a lively woman who sang beautifully in the choir and was charming to be around. Mrs. Hale commented, "She -- come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself. Real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and -- fluttery. How -- she -- did -- change." The two women began to feel pity for Mrs. Wright, whose husband was a gruff man and known to have fits of anger and rage.

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A Jury of Her Peers Research Papers examine a short story about the murder of the spirit in a rural farmhouse outside a small community.

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