Once Minnie Foster became Minnie Wright, she was a mere speck living in her husband’s world. She is described by Mrs. Hale as young and lively, “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively—when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls, singing in the choir” (Glaspell 507). Although her presence in her marriage was small, she holds a major presence in Susan Glaspell’s, “A Jury of Her Peers”, without even being physically present. Minnie is present in the minds of both Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale once they step foot into her home with symbols such as the kitchen, the rocker, the birdcage, the dead canary, and the busted preserve jars. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale use the birdcage, the dead canary, and the busted preserve jars to conclude Minnie Wright lived in a broken home with a broken marriage which led to Minnie Wright’s that both women deemed justifiable. Before Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale step foot into Minnie Wright’s kitchen, they nervously stood outside already feeling Minnie Wright’s presence. Mrs. Hale is described by the narrator as, “Even after she had her foot on the door—step, her hand on the knob, Martha Hale had a moment of feeling she could not cross that threshold” (Glaspell 502). Mrs. Hale feels as if she cannot cross that threshold because she had never crossed it before. There were plenty of times where she felt that she should have visited Minnie Wright, but now that she is actually there without Minnie Wright physically being present, there is something
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First, looking around the kitchen, the women notice that Minnie had left a lot of things “half done.” There was a table with “one half… wiped clean, the other half messy,” and a bucket of sugar half-filled. Minnie must have kept getting interrupted from her work. Maybe it was her husband or maybe it was her own thinking. The women know that to leave something unfinished it must have been something very importimportantnt. The second piece of evidence the women find is the log cabin quilt that Minnie had been working on. All of the quilt squares are sewn “nice and even”, except for one. The square looks as if Minnie “didn’t know what she was about.” It seems as if Minnie was nervous while sewing it. The women find it weird that Minnie was so careless on that square, when she was so meticulous in sewing the others. The final, and possibly most important, piece of evidence is the dead bird that the women found in Minnie’s sewing basket. Mr. Hale, we assume, “wrung its neck,” and it was something that Minnie really cared about. Mrs. Peters remembers a time when, “ there was a boy (who) took a hatchet,” to her kitten. She knows what it feels like to want to hurt someone who hurt something you care about. In the end, the women decide to hide the evidence from the men. Susan Glaspell’s use of logos is
Hale and Mrs. Peters find a dead canary and a broken bird cage, it becomes obvious that Mr. Wright was an aggressive and controlling husband. Mrs. Hale states, “No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird- a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too” (1012). The canary represents Minnie Foster. Before she married Mr. Wright, she was a joyful girl who sang in the church choir. After her and Mr. Wright get married, she is forced to stop singing and is stripped of her happiness. The broken cage represents Mr. and Mrs. Wright’s controlling marriage. The bird cage is violently broken to represent how Mrs. Wright violently escaped her marriage. The women’s discoveries cause Mrs. Peters to sympathize with Mrs. Wright. Ultimately, Mrs. Peters decides to stand up for what she believes.
Mrs. Wright eventually deteriorated just has her environment, her rocking chair, and the canary. In “Jury of Her Peers” Minnie Wright’s situation illustrates many women of the world. In the story and in our society many woman are stereotyped in the marriage to complete all home duties and take of care the children while consumed in pleasing their husband. While doing so we lose ourselves. While reading the store I also realized how blessed I am to be symbolized as a modern
In “A Jury of Her Peers,” Minnie Wright grows up in Dickson county along with: Mr. Lewis Hale, Mrs. Martha Hale, Harry Hale, Mrs. Peters, Mr. Peters, Mr. John Wright, and Mr. George Henderson. Minnie Foster is known to others as a sweet and cheerful young girl. After marrying John Wright, Minnie Wright is not seen or spoken of throughout the town, “Time and time again it had been in her mind ‘I ought to go over and see Minnie Foster’--she still thought of her as Minnie Foster, though for twenty years she had been
As the women walk through the house, they begin to get a feel for what Mrs. Wright’s life is like. They notice things like the limited kitchen space, the broken stove, and the broken jars of fruit and begin to realize the day-to-day struggles that Mrs. Wright endured. The entire house has a solemn, depressing atmosphere. Mrs. Hale regretfully comments that, for this reason and the fact that Mr. Wright is a difficult man to be around, she never came to visit her old friend, Mrs. Wright.
"A Jury of Her Peers" opens with debate encompassing Minnie Foster Wright, who is in prison on suspicion that she killed her spouse by strangling him. Mrs. Wright's story is told by implication through a discussion between Martha Hale, whose spouse uncovered the grouping of John Wright, Mrs. Diminishes, the wife of the neighborhood sheriff. The sheriff asks Mrs. Robust to go with them to the Wright's house so she can stay with his wife while the men explore the homicide scene. Put together by condition, the ladies structure a prompt bond as they start assembling some of Minnie's possessions to accumulate to her prison cell. Presuming that there is nothing in the kitchen aside from "kitchen things," the men start their examination in the upstairs of the house and in an outside animal dwelling place. Left alone in Minnie's kitchen, in any case, the two ladies start uncovering their pieces of information about Minnie's conceivable intention in executing her spouse. Step by step, Mrs. Sound and Mrs. Diminishes start perceiving insights about Minnie's life that escape the notice of their spouses. They perceive Minnie's forsaken, separated presence, her broken furniture, the once-over kitchen where she needed to cook, and the battered clothes she was compelled to
When the two women come across the empty, broken bird-cage, they ponder the reason for the broken door and the fate of the canary who occupied it. Later they discover the dead bird wrapped in silk with its neck broken, presumably by the hands of Mr. Wright. The bird symbolizes Minnie Foster, the young choir girl. The dead bird symbolizes Minnie after marriage, when she loses her spirit, and the cage symbolizes her husband who mistreats and isolates her. While describing Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Hale compares her to the bird when she says to Mrs. Peters, " She used to sing real pretty herself”. ( 576) Literary critic Janet Stobbs Wright states," Only as a picture emerges of the way in which Minnie Foster has been changed by her marriage to John Wright, is a process of identification between the two women initiated".
One critic, Leonard Mustazza, argues that Mrs. Hale recruits Mrs. Peters “as a fellow ‘juror’ in the case, moving the sheriff’s wife away from her sympathy for her husband’s position and towards identification with the accused woman” (494). Though this is true, Mrs. Peters also comes to her own understanding. What she sees in the kitchen led her to understand Minnie’s lonely plight as the wife of an abusive farmer. The first evidence Mrs. Peters reaches understanding on her own surfaces in the following passage: “The sheriff’s wife had looked from the stove to the sink to the pail of water which had been
As the ladies examine the house, while the men are other places, picking clothes and an apron up for Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Hale gains sympathy for her until finally she starts to take action. When they find the block of quilting that has stitching askew, she starts to fix it, perhaps to cover for Mrs. Wright?s distraught state of mind. While Mrs. Hale is finding sympathy for Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Peters offers a counterpoint that tries to justifies the men?s viewpoints and actions. Her comments to Mrs. Hale?s resentful musings on Mrs. Wright?s unhappy life and on the actions of men in regards to women in general all seem to be rote answers programmed into her by society and a desire not to cause any trouble. This all changes as soon as Mrs. Peters finds the bird.
Peters and Mrs. Hale discover Minnie’s dead bird, they realize that her murder of Mr. Wright might have resulted from her angriness of the killing of her bird rather than her being unhappy with her marriage. She did so because she could think of no more better revenge than to take away the most valuable thing away from her husband (his life) just as he snatched away the most valuable thing from her. The realization of this leads to Mrs. Peters' sympathy towards Minnie as she remembers having had similar feelings many years ago when a boy killed her kitten. “When I was a girl – my kitten – there was a boy who took a hatchet, and before my eyes- and before I could get there- If they hadn’t held me back, I would have- hurt him. ”(Glaspell 1343).
The men?s prejudice is blatant and although it was easy for Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to pick up on it, they react to it in a variety of ways. Defensively, Mrs. Hale, replies rigidly to the County Attorney?s remark by stating that "there?s a great deal of work to be done on a farm," (958) offering an excuse for Minnie?s lapse in cleaning. Later, he brushes her off when she explains that John Wright was a grim man. To the County Attorney, the women are just there to collect personal items for Minnie, they are not going to give him any valuable insight into the murder. To their credit, the women do not force their thoughts or feelings on the men when biased statements are made in their direction. They hold back and discuss the remarks later after the men go upstairs. Mrs. Peters observes that "Mr. Henderson is awful sarcastic in a speech and he?ll make fun of her sayin? she didn?t wake up" (960). The fact that she believes the men would laugh if they heard the two women discussing the dead canary reveals how sure she is that the men think of them as concerned with the
The audience and characters assume that Minnie is guilty, but with due motivation. “Two housewives, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, accompanying their husbands who are investigating the murder of a man by his wife, discover in the kitchen the clues which indicate the motive of the murderess” (Alkalay-Gut 1). The audience assumes that Minnie’s solitude, imposed on her by her husband, has lead her to be depressed. “Alienated from her husband, powerless and silenced by the circumstances of her marriage, and isolated from her neighbors, Minnie is an unseen woman long before she murders John Wright” (Noe 16). What if Minnie’s solitude was self-inflicted? Just as Mrs. Hale could have visited Minnie, Minnie could have visited Mrs. Hale and other women in the area, but chose not to. The audience assumes that John Wright treats Minnie coldly or harshly. Mrs Hale says, “No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird—a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too.” (Glaspell 1391). “Her life has been made miserable by an individual who has complete control of her” (Alkalay-Gut 3). What
Mrs. Wright is referred to when Mrs. Hale speaks of her by using her maiden name, when saying ?I wish you?d seen Minnie Foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and sang.? The old rocking chair symbolizes Mrs. Wright as she has allowed herself to depreciate, just as the rocking chair has depreciated. ?The chair sagged to one side,? Mrs. Hale stated that the chair was not anything like she remembered, referring to the fact that Mrs. Wright has also changed since she
Minnie Wright not being present in the plot allows the woman to solve the mystery on their own. It also allows them to connect with her more as well as connect with her state of mind. Mrs. Hale says “Not having children makes less work - but It makes for a quiet house, and Wright out to work all day, and no company when he did come in” (122.) This quote shows how Mrs. Hale is feeling, she is realizing that Minnie wright must have been very lonely sitting in her house all day with no one and nothing to do. A few pages later she says “Oh, I wish i’d come over here once in a while! That was a crime! That was a crime! Who’s going to punish that?” (125) In this moment Mrs. Hale in strongly