Susan Glaspell

A Jury of Her Peers

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This section offers a full, in-depth summary of A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell.  It is a longer versions of the short synopsis that begins this study guide.

Mrs. Martha Hale rushes back into her kitchen to grab her scarf because the day is cold and windy. She looks around at the disarray; she doesn’t like leaving her kitchen with things half done. Her husband calls out for her to hurry and she rushes to join the others in the buggy: Sheriff Peters and his wife; the county attorney, a young man named George Henderson; and her husband, Lewis Hale. They are needed to help with the investigation of John Wright’s murder. Yesterday, her husband stopped by the Wrights’ house and discovered Mrs. Wright acting oddly and Mr. Wright strangled, upstairs in his bed.

The five adults arrive at the Wright homestead, which looks lonesome sitting by itself in a hollow. They enter the house; the men stand by the fire, talking, while the women hang back, looking around the kitchen.

The sheriff questions Mr. Hale, asking him if the room looks the same as when he arrived yesterday and then prompting him to tell them what happened. Mr. Hale reports that the room looks exactly the same as yesterday. He looks ill when he begins recounting the events of the previous morning. Mrs. Hale worries that her husband will ramble while telling the story, revealing things that will make things more difficult for Minnie Foster.

Yesterday morning, Mr. Hale and his son, Harry, were carrying a load of potatoes to town. As they passed the Wrights’ house, Mr. Hale decided to stop in and ask John Wright if he would get a telephone. The Hales want a telephone, but they need a neighbor to get one too to make it worthwhile for the telephone company to take the line down their remote rural road. Mr. Hale rambles a bit and reveals that John Wright didn’t like to talk much, didn’t approve of telephones because he thought that people talked too much already, and that he didn’t much care what his wife,…

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