What are similarities and differences between the "A Jury of Her Peers" and Trifles by Susan Glaspell?

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Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers,” written in 1917, is based on her play Trifles, written in 1916. Both pieces of literature are loosely based on Glaspell’s own experience as a reporter covering a murder case.

There are many similarities between the play...

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Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers,” written in 1917, is based on her play Trifles, written in 1916. Both pieces of literature are loosely based on Glaspell’s own experience as a reporter covering a murder case.

There are many similarities between the play and the short story that you could focus on in your answer. They have the same plot and almost exactly the same dialogue. Both end with Mrs. Hale’s telltale line, “We call it—knot it, Mr. Henderson.” This is a brilliant example of dramatic irony. The audience knows that Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters have discovered evidence that Mrs. Wright did in fact kill her husband by strangling him with a rope. The men in the scene do not know this and think that Mrs. Hale is referring to a quilting technique.

Main differences between the play and the short story stem from the fact that they are two different genres of literature. As a one-act play, Trifles takes place in one setting: Mrs. Wright’s kitchen. “A Jury of Her Peers,” on the other hand, begins in Mrs. Hale’s kitchen and follows her journey to the Wright farmhouse.

As a play, Trifles is also limited in how much we know about what characters are thinking. Using dialogue and body language, Glaspell communicates to her audience. In the short story, however, we are given insight into the thoughts of characters, specifically Mrs. Hale, and are offered more description of characters.

An example of this difference is when Mr. Hale is giving his testimony of what he saw in the farmhouse. In the play, all we hear is what Mr. Hale is saying. In the story, we know that Mrs. Hale is hoping he doesn’t say anything unnecessary. Before Mr. Hale begins his testimony, the narrator of “A Jury of Her Peers” tells the audience, “Mrs. Hale, still learning against the door, had that sinking feeling of the mother whose child is about to speak a piece” (Glaspell, 1). This insight into Mrs. Hale’s thoughts immediately communicates to readers her intelligence and perception of her husband.

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