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A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell
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Is Martha Hale a round character?

Martha Hale is a round character because of her three-dimensional personality.

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As opposed to simplistic flat characters, round characters have more going on beneath the surface. A flat character is little more than a stereotype, while a round character better resembles a real person in their complexity.

Martha Hale is indeed a round character because of how fleshed out she is....

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As opposed to simplistic flat characters, round characters have more going on beneath the surface. A flat character is little more than a stereotype, while a round character better resembles a real person in their complexity.

Martha Hale is indeed a round character because of how fleshed out she is. Quite contrary to the police's view of her as a simple-minded housewife (one could say they view her and the other women in a flat way), Martha is sharp and meticulous. She notices details the men overlook, such as the sloppiness of Minnie's quilt work. From this detail alone, she is able to discern Minnie's distracted state of mind, which emphasizes that Martha has a healthy grasp of human psychology as well.

Martha's depth of character is also revealed in her choices. Experiencing great guilt over never visiting the neglected Minnie in the past, Martha decides to help her by hiding evidence from the police. This shows she is unwilling to cooperate with the law if she believes justice is not being truly served.

Altogether, the details of the story illustrate Martha as a knowledgeable, meticulous, strong-willed, brave, and compassionate woman. This goes beyond the stereotype of the hardworking farmer's wife, making her a round character.

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