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The brevity of the work does not constitute inadequacy, on the contrary, the reality of human nature unfolds perfectly in this very short one-act play. The reason this play is so successful is that it is real. There are clues that only the women discover, and through the subtle nuances of human nature and the female world, we also discover them. Minnie Wright is off-stage the entire time. We never meet her, yet through the conversation of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, we feel as if we do know her. We judge her along with the women (the peers of Mrs. Wright) to be innocent. She has obviously committed the crime of murder, but based on the description of her husband John, the way Minnie was as a youth, and her life with John, we judge (as do the women) that Minnie has suffered enough and that she was driven to this act of self-defense by the cruelty she suffered at the hands of her severe husband. No one agrees that murder is a right and good thing, but then again, neither is abuse. Minnie Wright has suffered many years of abuse. The fact that John killed her canary--the only source of companionship and joy Minnie had in that house--put Minnie over the edge.
There is distinct humanity in this play. There is suspense. There is the anger that is created by the men's brushing aside the unimportant "women's world" which is where the clues are. There is satisfaction in the women's hiding the clues from the men to allow Minnie to go free. All of this makes the play an amazing one...in one, short, action-packed scene.
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