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A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell

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What is the event that could lead to the "falling action" of "A Jury of Her Peers"?

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In a short story, the rising action continues to build until the climax, and after the climax, the action falls till the end in a portion of the story called the denouement. In a longer work of fiction like a novel the denouement can be rather lengthy, whereas in a short story it can be quite brief. In this story, the falling action is only a few paragraphs. The climax occurs when Mrs. Peters comes to an agreement with Mrs. Hale to protect Mrs. Wright by hiding the evidence they have found, namely the abused canary. 

For a moment Mrs. Peters did not move. And then she did it. With a rush forward, she threw back the quilt pieces, got the box, tried to put it in her handbag.

The climax is the highest point of tension in the story, or the point where the character makes a decision that sets in motion the resolution of the conflict, leading to the falling action. In this story, the conflict is whether Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters will act as "a jury of her peers" to Mrs. Wright or whether they will be "married to the law" and submit themselves to an unjust male-dominated legal system. Mrs. Hale makes up her mind first to side with Mrs. Wright, but Mrs. Peters, as the sheriff's wife, has a harder decision to make. Her decision occurs between the two bold sentences above. That is the climax. Having made the decision, both women need only to "get away with" hiding the evidence, which they do in the last few paragraphs of the story.

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