illustration of a dead bird lying within a black box

A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell
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What are the characters in "A Jury of Her Peers" looking for?

In "A Jury of Her Peers," the characters are looking for evidence that would show that Mrs. Wright had a motive for killing her husband.

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The male characters in "A Jury of Her Peers" arrive at the Wright farm to search for evidence that would reveal a reason for Minnie Wright to have killed her husband. As the county attorney says,

You know juries when it comes to women. If there was some...

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The male characters in "A Jury of Her Peers" arrive at the Wright farm to search for evidence that would reveal a reason for Minnie Wright to have killed her husband. As the county attorney says,

You know juries when it comes to women. If there was some definite thing. Something to show—something to make a story about.

Mrs. Peters has come along with her husband, the sheriff, to gather up some things for Minnie Wright to have in prison. Mrs. Hale has come to help and keep Mrs. Peters company. Ironically, it is the women who find the pieces of evidence, the dead canary and the broken door to the birdcage, that lead them to reconstruct the crime.

The men leave the kitchen, contemptuously thinking of it as a trivial woman's place and one Mrs. Wright did not take good care of. The women know from the start that Mrs. Wright is not simply a poor housekeeper and that her kitchen disarray is a sign she was very upset. They then find the dead canary, carefully wrapped up and placed in a box. They see, too, that the door of the canary's cage is broken. From this they realize that Mr. Wright, a grim, unpleasant man, must have killed the canary in a fit of rage, breaking its neck. Mrs. Wright, they realize, retaliated by hanging her husband, breaking his neck.

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