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A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell
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Did Minnie kill her husband?

Minnie did kill her husband, a fact that Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are able to establish by paying close attention to the details of Minnie's life. However gruesome, the women consider it a justifiable homicide.

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Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters accompany their husbands to the Wright farm, where the day before, Mr. Wright was found hanged by his bed. Minnie Wright, his wife, is the logical suspect, but the men need to find evidence and a motive to link her to the murder.

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Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters accompany their husbands to the Wright farm, where the day before, Mr. Wright was found hanged by his bed. Minnie Wright, his wife, is the logical suspect, but the men need to find evidence and a motive to link her to the murder.

The men laugh at the women for focusing on "trifles" in the kitchen, but while the men move off to search elsewhere, the women are able to piece together the events of the murder. They realize that something must have deeply distressed Minnie for her kitchen to be such a mess. As they look around, they find a dead canary, its neck broken, carefully wrapped up in a piece of silk. They see that the door of its cage was violently broken. They are able to put together that Minnie snapped after her husband, in a rage, killed her beloved canary.

As Mrs. Hale, who has known Minnie since childhood, puts two and two together, she realizes that Minnie has been isolated for too long and with an abusive husband. Minnie always liked pretty clothes, and Mrs. Hale realizes that she began to stay home when her stingy husband refused to buy her anything nice to wear. The killing of the canary was the final straw: Minnie broke her husband's neck through hanging him in retaliation for breaking her canary's neck.

The women, however, know the men have no understanding of a woman's life and won't, as they do, sympathize with Minnie, so they hide the evidence of the canary that could have helped the men convict Mrs. Wright.

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