In the story, Susan Glaspell explores the complexities of human nature. Two aspects that she emphasizes are really two sides of the same coin: the secrets that people carry deep within themselves, and the extreme difficulty of understanding other people’s motivations.
As the characters explore the Wright home, the male investigators are directly concerned with finding out what happened on the day that John Wright was killed. Although they understand that it is likely that Minnie killed him, her extreme emotional distress is interfering with her ability to speak coherently about the day’s events. The men persevere in searching for evidence, as they also entertain the possibility that an intruder committed the murder. Because Minnie is a quiet, mild-mannered woman, it is difficult for the men to conceptualize her possible motive for murder.
In contrast, the women have not set out to solve the crime. Their concern is to help Minnie, who is all alone at the jail. They systematically go...
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