Susan Glaspell's Motives

Good Essays
In “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, the sheriff, Mr. Peters, is struggling to find a motive for Mr. Wright’s murder case due to his sexist views. However, Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s wife, along with Mrs. Hale is able to discover significant clues that lead to the revelation of Mrs. Wright’s motive because they relate to her living conditions. Although Mrs. Wright claims to have been asleep during her husband’s murder, the women conclude she strangled her husband, Mr. Wright, as evidenced by the slaughtered canary, the broken birdcage, and the errant quilt patch.
The slaughtered canary wrapped in silk is the first significant clue which provides a motive for Mrs.Wright. When the women unwrap the bird, Mrs. Peters notices that “somebody wrung its neck.” It does not make sense for Mrs. Wright to kill her own bird because it was the only thing that brought light into her
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Hale and Mrs. Peter discern an errant quilt patch in the middle of the meticulous quilt. The whole quilt is stitched in a uniform manner, except for one section. It is evident that “she didn’t know what she was about” [Mrs. Peters] because quilting is intricate and time-consuming. Even though Mrs. Hales tries to cover up for Mrs. Wright by straightening out the stitches and saying, “I sew awful queer sometimes when I’m just tired,” so the sheriff cannot find any motive that shows anger. Distracted by her thirst for revenge and anger towards her husband, the quality of her sewing went plummeting as represented through tight and messy stitches. Finally, she decides to “knot it” and kills Mr. Wright. Throughout the story, the sheriff asks, “Have you decided whether she was going to quilt it or knot it?” When they refer to this metaphor, “quilt it,” that means she’s going to continue to endure the pain, but “knot it” means she’s going to kill her husband with a rope tied around his neck. The women uncovered what Mrs. Wright decided to do, so they answer, “We call it—knot it, Mr.
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