Using the voice of Minnie Wright, from "A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell, write a monoloque where Minnie gives her defense of why she killed her husband. Include the factual material and some...

1 Answer | Add Yours

carol-davis's profile pic

Posted on

In “ A Jury of her Peers” and Trifles by Susan Glaspell, Minnie Wright is charged with strangling her husband with a rope while he was in bed asleep.  In the story, Minnie never actually speaks. However, Minnie Wright gets her chance to speak to the jury.

"I am Minnie Wright, and I killed my husband.  He had been beating me since the second year of our marriage.  I reported it to Sheriff Peters when he broke my hand and he talked to my husband. That night my husband broke two of my ribs and threatened to kill me if I ever talked about our fights again. 

"John, my husband, always blamed me for our fights.  He said that my poor attitude and lack of trying  were the reasons that he had to keep me in line. 

"He never let me attend church, have friends, or keep any money.  I was not able to be around my family anymore. At least, once a month, John would drink too much and get angry and slap me or beat with his belt. I have many scars from those discussions.

"About a year ago, a man came around the house selling canaries.  We never had any children. It gets awfully lonely and quiet most of the time around the house.  I bought one of the birds with some money that I had hidden from John.  He was angry when he found out about the cage and the bird…and he took my money away too.

"Mrs. Hale, my neighbor, understood how important that bird was to me. She told Mrs. Peters:

'...never to have had any children around? No, Wright wouldn't like the bird, a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too.'

"I loved that bird. I named it Sweetie. He would sing all day long if I were in the room with him.  I would have to cover him up to keep him from singing.  John hated its singing.  If John were in the house, I definitely had to keep the bird quiet.  He threatened me several times that he was going to kill the bird if he caught it singing again.

"The day that John died he had been drinking. He was mad because I had spilled some flour on the floor when I was making bread.  When I was not looking, he punched me in the stomach and slapped me on the face. 

"I went to the bathroom.  While I was gone, John took out my bird and twisted its neck and killed it.  He tore the door off of the cage.  I did not realize the bird was dead until I sat down to start sewing on my quilt that I was making; John handed me the bird while I was sewing.

"I screamed, but John screamed back that I better shut up. He went on up to bed.  I don’t remember much after I that.  I got the rope out of the barn and showed John had it felt to not have any control and to be hurt when you could not fight back. 

" I don’t remember anything else until Mr. Hale came into the house to talk about the phone line.

"I am sorry that John is dead.  I am not sorry that now I am free from the hurt."

This is the testimony of Minnie Wright at her trial for the 1st Degree Murder of her husband John Wright.


We’ve answered 323,874 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question