Although there are many differences between O. Henry’s story "A Municipal Report" and Susan Glaspell’s "A Jury of Her Peers," both stories have the same theme: Is taking another person’s life ever justified? In this respect, both stories fit the basic criteria of interpretive literature, as they ask the reader to look deep into fundamental human truths. They are also similar in that the person killed is an abusive husband. A strong case could be made for either story in terms of how it fits that category.
In O. Henry’s story, Caesar ends up killing Caswell to keep him from further abusing his wife, Azalea. The complexity of the story includes both racial and gendered elements. Caesar’s affection for Azalea goes back to his family’s enslavement by her family, a situation in which children from two families often grew up together. The narrator surmises that Caesar is the killer from a small piece of evidence, but he apparently does not report his suspicions to the authorites.
In Glaspell’s story, all the characters are apparently white. The conflict is almost completely gendered: two women figure out that a woman killed her husband; in this case, they actually conceal possible evidence. The other aspect of the gendered conflict, although much milder, is that the women discern what the men, including a lawman, could not because they attend to details more meaningful to women.