A Jury of Her Peers Characters
by Susan Glaspell

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A Jury of Her Peers Characters

(Short Stories for Students)

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Minnie Foster
See Minnie Wright

Lewis Hale
Lewis Hale is an Iowa farmer and a neighbor of the Wrights. He is called on the day after John Wright's murder to participate in the investigation as a witness. He tells the police how he found the body in the upstairs bedroom and of Minnie's peculiar behavior that day. Through his narrative the reader and the other characters learn about Minnie's state of mind after the murder. He tends to be long-winded when he speaks, and his wife is frequently worried that he will not get the story straight. Along with the other male characters, Mr. Hale searches for clues in all the obvious places, yet misses some of the most crucial evidence in the kitchen.

Martha Hale
Martha Hale is the only character visible for the entire story. The narrator follows her from her own kitchen to Wright's kitchen. While waiting for the detective to investigate the premises, she conducts her own examination of the scene. Rather than search Minnie Wright's home with the critical eye of the law, Mrs. Hale observes it with the sympathetic eye of a farm wife. As an acquaintance of Minnie's for over twenty years, she provides the reader with background on what Minnie was like before and after marriage. She represents loyalty and female solidarity by concealing evidence that would implicate Minnie in the death of her husband.

George Henderson
George Henderson is the young county lawyer who intends to prosecute Minnie Wright for the murder of her husband. As part of the investigating party, he asks questions and take notes His sarcasm about the women's attention to minor domestic details aggravates the women and shows him to be narrow-minded.

Henry Peters
As a man of the law, the sheriff's main goal is to convict John Wright's murderer. He is described as the perfect example of a sheriff—heavy and big-voiced. He is driven by the belief that he and his assembly of men can solve the crime of their own accord without the help of the women. He dismisses the women's observations as a silly waste of time

Mrs. Peters
Mrs. Peters's first name is never revealed in the story. She is the sheriff's wife, and the county prosecutor reminds her that she is ' 'married to the law." Her first tendency is to discourage Mrs. Hale from rushing to conclusions and tampering with the evidence they uncover in the kitchen. Later, Mrs. Peters's female sensibility causes her to pardon Mmnie of her possible crime, and she assists Mrs. Hale in concealing evidence. For the greater part of the story, she is clearly undecided about whether to side with the men, who want to prosecute Minnie, or with Mrs. Hale, who is sympathetic to Minnie's predicament....

(The entire section is 713 words.)