Symbolism In A Jury Of Her Peers

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“A Jury of Her Peers” is a story that is thriving with symbolism throughout the story. Although, amongst these are a few that stand out more than the others. The most expressive symbol is the quilt that the women wish to bring to Minnie Wright while she is in jail so that she can work on it. The second symbol is the songbird who was killed by Minnie Wright’s husband, John Wright. These symbols, although small, have a meaning much larger when you stop to truly ponder them.
Within the text, there is a quilt that slowly grows in meaning as it is mentioned several times in discussion amongst the men and women. In discussion of the quilt, the men tease the women by asking what technique of quilting Minnie Wright was planning to use: regular quilting or knotting. Before the women could answer the men laughed and went outside the house to look in the barn for evidence. After a few minutes, the men return where the county attorney then asks, “Well ladies, have you decided whether she was going to quilt it or knot it?” (678) In this scene,
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In the story, Mrs. Hale often recalls Minnie Wright as being a joyful girl who loved to sing, much like the songbird. Then they found that the songbird had its neck wrung by who they presumed was John Wright. Mrs. Peters then recalls a similar act of cruelty done to her by a neighborhood boy killing her kitten, she states, “If they hadn’t held me back I would have hurt him.” (679) The cruel act symbolizes how he had treated Minnie throughout the years that they had been married. While the bird was trapped in a cage, it symbolizes how Minnie likely felt trapped in her marriage where the bird’s singing gave her hope and happiness. Therefore, when John killed the bird it killed what remaining hope and happiness Minnie had. This caused her to retaliate to John for not only the killing of the bird, but years of mistreatment and desolation she had
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