Summary Of A Jury Of Her Peers By Susan Glaspell

782 Words4 Pages

Married to the Law? On December 2, 1900, sixty-year-old farmer, John Hossack, was murdered in Indianola, Iowa. His skull was crushed by an ax while he and his wife were asleep in bed. His wife, Margaret, was tried for the crime and eventually released due to inconclusive evidence. Like Minnie Wright, the main character of Glaspell’s story, “A Jury of Her Peers,” Mrs. Hossack claimed not to have seen the murderer. The trial was attended by many of the town’s women. Among these women, the sheriff’s wife was also there and although she initially testified against her, she continued to sympathize with her throughout the trial. Many scholars believe Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s wife in Glaspell’s short story, was based off this woman. For the greater part of the story, she is …show more content…

Mrs. Peters actively participates in the attempt to conceal the evidence of Minnie Foster Wright’s guilt and gets away with it because the county attorney says, “’No; Mrs. Peters doesn’t need supervising. For that matter, a sheriff’s wife is married to the law. Ever think of it that way, Mrs. Peters?’” (18). Although she tries extremely hard to fulfil her duty of wifely compliance, in the middle of the short story, she makes a figurative “U-turn” and assists Mrs. Hale in hiding evidence that could alter the investigation. Throughout the story, we visualize Mrs. Peters exert more independence and feminine rebellion through the unorthodox “mentoring” of Mrs. Hale. Mrs. Peters is a loyal wife of higher social class because of her husband. Mrs. Peters is the most like Minnie Foster Wright because she accepts, although reluctantly, what her husband says. In the end, readers are allowed to witness her unity with Mrs. Hale in defending Minnie Wright from any further punishment she might ever get from a male because, “With a rush forward, she threw back the quilt pieces, got the box, tried to put it in her handbag,”

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