49 pages 1 hour read

Susan Glaspell

A Jury of Her Peers

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1917

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“A Jury of Her Peers”

  • Genre: Fiction; short story; mystery/suspense
  • Originally Published: 1917
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 8-12
  • Structure/Length: Approx. 48 pages; approx. 54 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Peters, their husbands, and the county attorney gather in the farmhouse of John and Minnie Wright. John Wright has been strangled, and the men struggle to find evidence that will seat the blame on Mrs. Wright.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Murder

Susan Glaspell, Author

  • Bio: 1876-1948; born in Davenport, Iowa; raised by parents, a farmer and a teacher, on a homestead near the Mississippi River; performed well in school and took up journalism by age 18; attended Drake University to study philosophy; after college, worked as a news reporter in Des Moines before turning to fiction full time, finding success with short stories, novels, and plays
  • Other Works: Trifles (one-act play later adapted into “A Jury of Her Peers”; 1916); Inheritors (1921); Fugitive’s Return (1929); Alison’s House (play, 1930); Norma Ashe (1942); Judd Rankin’s Daughter (1945)
  • Awards: 1931 Pulitzer Prize for Alison’s House

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Gender Roles
  • Duty of Neighbors to Help One Another
  • The Law Versus Justice

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of gender roles and the feminist movement addressed in the context of “A Jury of Her Peers.