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A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell
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Describe Mr. Wright and Mrs. Wright’s temperaments in "A Jury of Her Peers."

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I assume from the phrase above that you want a description of Minnie Wright and John Wright as characters.

Let's begin with John Wright.

We first hear about John Wright's personality through John Hale. At the beginning of the story, as Hale visits the crime scene where John Wright was...

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I assume from the phrase above that you want a description of Minnie Wright and John Wright as characters.

Let's begin with John Wright.

We first hear about John Wright's personality through John Hale. At the beginning of the story, as Hale visits the crime scene where John Wright was killed, he (Hale) indicates that he had a conversation about work with Wright which the latter dismissed because, as per Mr. Hale's paraphrasing, Wright said that,

folks talked too much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet,

Furthermore, Hale hinted at that John Wright did not talk very much either, which leads us to assume that John Wright was either an introvert or simply someone who was somewhat antisocial.

Later on, we hear a little bit more about John Wright from Mrs. Hale. When Mrs. Hale and Mr. Henderson talk about the Wright household, basically wondering how it was like, Mrs. Hale shines a light into the Wright's actual situation.

"You mean they didn't get on very well?" he was quick to ask.

"No; I don't mean anything," she answered, with decision. [...] "But I don't think a place would be any the cheerfuler for John Wright's bein' in it."

From this comment, we can also gather that John Hale was not a happy person. We can add the details and come up with a man, presumably hard working (all farmers are by default) but with a tough, quiet, personality. He seems to have little patience for people, keeps to himself, and, from what Mrs. Hale says, he is not one to inspire cheer or joy in a household.

This is fair enough, but when you are part of a married couple, being quiet, a bit antisocial and overall a less than cheerful person could affect the dynamics of the couple.

This is evident when we read about Minnie Wright. We learn from Mrs. Hale that Minnie, before marrying John Wright, was a "songbird." She wore flowers on her head, dressed nicely, sang in the church choir.

However, something changed when Minnie married John. She "kept a lot to herself" among other things. She also looked like she was feeling "shabby" about herself, which means that her self esteem was beginning to falter.

She didn't even belong to the Ladies Aid. I suppose she felt she couldn't do her part, and then you don't enjoy things when you feel shabby. She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that -- oh, that was thirty years ago.

Using this text evidence, and after learning what happened the night of the murder (Minnie presumably snapped after years of spousal abuse and after John wrung her canary's neck) you can infer how the personalities of Mr. and Mrs. Wright affected one another.

Mr. Wright was a cruel, quiet, silent creature who preyed upon the vulnerabilities of the once-happy and free Minnie Foster. After marrying, however the courtship went (we are never told how they met or how it all happened), John Wright did what any other psychological predator does: he took away her light and brought her into his dark, cold, silent place.

Perhaps he utilized her for morbid things, or maybe he just poured onto her so much negativity that it reflected in how despaired her thinking was—her stitching was all over the place—and in how the house was also in disorder. Ultimately, it was such high level of despair that led Minnie to put a rope around her husband's neck and kill him.

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