In terms of character type, how do the main characters in "A Jury of Her Peers" relate to the story's plot and structure?In terms of flat, round, static, dynamic, stock character types of...

In terms of character type, how do the main characters in "A Jury of Her Peers" relate to the story's plot and structure?

In terms of flat, round, static, dynamic, stock character types of characters), how do characters relate to the story's plot and structure?

Asked on by finch

2 Answers | Add Yours

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In "A Jury of Her Peers," the focus of the narrative is on Mrs. Hale.  Glaspell follows her from her kitchen to the Wright's kitchen, the scene of the crime.  At the beginning of the story, she seems like all the other characters: a flat, static stock character.

As the details of the case become revealed to her, however, she undergoes a psychological change: she awakens to a feminist epiphany.  As a result, she convinces the other women to suppress the evidence.  So, by the end, Mrs. Hale becomes a dynamic, round character--as does Mrs. Peters.

All of the male characters are flat, static stock characters.  They stand for the powers that be: a lawyer, a law man, and a cruel husband.  Though Mr. Wright never appears in the story, his body is symbolic of his unchanging character type.

The irony, of course, is that Minnie Wright never appears in the story, yet the readers can intuit in her a change.  She must have changed, snapped in fact, from a meek, obedient housewife to a raging avenger.  Why else would she kill her husband.  Evidence of her change is found in the kitchen: the dead bird and her needlework--subtle signs of abuse.

The psychological and moral evolution of the female characters in the story shows how women who were once isolated and voiceless can change by coming together in a female community.  Not only that, but this community can affect change, even if it means breaking patriarchal law to protect their own.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The previous thoughts were strong.  I would offer another dimension to it which is kind of out there and will require a strong level of substantiation if you choose to pursue it.  The statement that Glaspell might be making with round and static characters might be based on gender.  The men in the play are shown to be relatively static throughout in their self- centered and dull ways. They lack the creativity and imagination to both solve the actual crime and expand their moral sense to incorporate the narrative of the women, their wives, into the discourse.  In contrast, the women are the most dynamic in both how they solve the crime and how they go about understanding their own voice as an act of almost resistance.  The looks they give one another upon their revelation of the solving of the crime might be a culmination of this dynamic chord where epiphany and understanding represent the true acknowledgment of voice.  It might be a good exercise to construct static and dynamic characters based on gender affiliation.

We’ve answered 318,961 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question