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A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell
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Who is Martha Hale?

Martha Hale is an old friend of Minnie Wright and another farm wife. She identifies with Minnie and understands why Minnie would snap and kill her husband.

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Martha Hale is a farmer's wife who lives near Minnie Wright. Her husband happened to find the hanged body of Mr. John Wright the day before. Because Mrs. Peters, the sheriff's wife, who is packing up some things for Mrs. Wright in jail, wants company, Mrs. Hale comes with her...

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Martha Hale is a farmer's wife who lives near Minnie Wright. Her husband happened to find the hanged body of Mr. John Wright the day before. Because Mrs. Peters, the sheriff's wife, who is packing up some things for Mrs. Wright in jail, wants company, Mrs. Hale comes with her husband to the Wright farm.

We learn about Mrs. Hale from her reaction to the crime scene. While the men make fun of Minnie as a poor housekeeper for leaving everything in a disarray, Mrs. Hale thinks of how she was pulled away just now from her own kitchen and feels sympathy for Minnie. From the start she is defensive of Minnie, dreading that her old friend will be tried for murder.

Mrs. Hale grew up with Minnie and remembers her as a pretty girl who liked to sing and wear nice clothes. But although they live close to each other, Mrs. Hale hasn't visited her friend for a year, due to the grim feeling at the farmhouse. Mrs. Hale has the insight to understand that John Wright was a harsh man who made his wife's life miserable.

Mrs. Hale is a compassionate woman who identifies with Minnie and represents the perspective of a farm wife and fellow female. She and Mrs. Peters realize that Minnie murdered her husband but take her side and suppress evidence linking her to the crime.

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