Comentários do leitor

A Case Of Tunnel Vision In A Jury Of Her Peers

"Jack Willason" (2019-10-14)


In "A Jury of Her Peers," Susan Glaspell intends for the audience to be the jury. This is the reason she ends the story with Mrs. Wright being held for questioning. Subliminal messages sent throughout passages in the story motivate the audience to investigate. She wants these jurors to see beyond what first meets the eye. The presentation of the investigation has many flaws in hope that the audience will come to the realization that the evidence does not substantiate their first impression of guilt. Upon first reading, the audience will naturally assume that Mrs. Wright is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but after looking deeply into the "things half done", the audience will realize the possibility of Mrs. Wright's innocence. While Glaspell does not reveal who murdered Mr. Wright, she hints that the possibility of an intruder has been overlooked due to the initial presumption of Mrs. Wright's guilt.



While Mrs. Wright sleeps, somebody, possibly the "man who went crazy" murders her husband of twenty years. The following morning, Mr. Hale enters Mrs. Wright's home through an unlocked door. Throughout the investigation, Glaspell blatantly reveals how the presumption of Mrs. Wright's guilt led Sheriff Peters and young Henderson to overlook the possibility of an intruder. While Sheriff Peters conducts his initial investigation, he has to send Frank, his deputy sheriff, after the crazy man at the Morris Center. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, because "he knew the difference between criminals and non-criminals" Sheriff Peters assumes that Mrs. Wright is guilty. Therefore, he counts on young Henderson to conduct the investigation when he returns from Omaha the following day. As much as Sheriff Peters is certain that Mrs. Wright committed this murder, so is young Henderson. By presenting Martha Hale as an average, upstanding citizen, the audience, as well as, Sheriff Peters and young Henderson tend to accept every assumption that she makes as fact.



More specifically, they tend to believe that Mr. Wright was negligent and abusive without requiring any proof. Moreover, Martha Hale is the kind of woman society expects her to be. She gets her work done, drops everything to help others, worries about her son, and feels guilty for not visiting Minnie. It is doubtful that Mrs. Wright was mentally or physically capable of murdering Mr. Wright. Whether Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters hide the truth about the bird because they think Mrs. Wright murdered her husband is unclear. Glaspell mentions "the crazy man" in "A Jury of Her Peers" to offer her audience of jurors an alternative to consider. The only material evidence is the bird, whereas, in the Hossack case it was an axe. Both of these items represent the extent to which people are capable of jumping to conclusions. Immediately after the trial, Glaspell quit her position as a newspaper reporter (32). Perhaps she felt an overwhelming sense of guilt for the contributions she made in giving the first impression of guilt to the public.



Although Margaret Hossack was convicted, her case went to the Supreme Court of Iowa two years later and she was released due to a hung jury (32). The evidence in both cases leaves much room for reasonable doubt. Glaspell weaved many inconsistencies into "A Jury of Her Peers" while she hinted ever so softly for the audience to uncover the truth piece by piece. In essence, Glaspell did not quilt this story, she knotted it. 0 of 8192 characters usedPost CommentNo HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. The actual murder of John Hossack happened on December 2nd, 1900. My belief in the possibility of Mrs. Wright's innocence is not a common one. This is a good review of a play that has an interesting approach to a whodunit by presenting the evidence and leaving it up to the audience to decide. The case it is based on seems a strange one. In what year did the murder occur?



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