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A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell
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What does Mrs. Hale regret not having done?

Mrs. Hale regrets not having visited Minnie Wright. She stayed away because the Wright home was not cheerful, but now she realizes how much Minnie needed a friend.

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In Susan Glaspell's “A Jury of Her Peers,” Mrs. Hale deeply regrets not visiting Minnie Wright more often. She knew Minnie before she was married, and she liked Minnie, who was a singing, cheerful girl. Yet after her marriage, Minnie changed.

Minnie's clothing is shabby. Her house isn't especially clean. The stitching on her quilt is uneven. These are all signs of an unhappy woman, someone who is discouraged and has lost heart. Mrs. Hale has sensed that, yet she rarely came to visit Minnie.

Now Mrs. Hale wishes she had. “I wish I had come over sometimes when she was here,” she tells Mrs. Peters. The latter reminds Mrs. Hale how busy she always is. Yet Mrs. Hale insists that she could have come. “I stayed away because it weren't cheerful,” she explains, but now she realizes that this is precisely why she should have visited. She never liked the place. It was lonesome and sad, but she could have been the company Minnie needed. Mrs. Hale knows, too, that Mr. Wright was a hard man.

Mrs. Peters tells Mrs. Hale that she “mustn't reproach” herself. “Somehow, we just don't see how it is with other folks till—something comes up,” she wisely says. Something has now come up indeed, and Mrs. Hale cannot help but wonder if she could have done something to prevent it by supporting Minnie Wright with her friendship.

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