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Symbolism in A Jury Of Her Peers Essay


In the short story "A Jury of Her Peers Mrs. Minnie Wright is a farmer's wife and is also deprived from social activities. There is an investigation that takes place where the murder occurred. Three detectives where involved in the case, but they really do not help solve the murder. In the story there are two women that will help protect, Mrs. Wright from getting into trouble, by disposing evidence and justify to themselves, that the murder was justifiable. The story is filled with symbolisms that illuminate the theme, of t the story like the jar of cherries, a bird, a quilt, kitchen, an even the type of knot that was used for her quilt.

The first symbol in the story is the uses of the kitchen. The kitchen was in total commotion bread ready for mixing the flour spread out of the bag. The description of the county attorney implied that Mrs. Wright did not clean around the house or paid attention to the cleaning, which implied with a machismo attitude to the reader that she did not pay attention to her husband. The murder is one that the two women Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale can identify. Because they are both farmers' wives and had very similar lifestyles. Mrs. Hale describes John Wright as a hard man, and never let Mrs. Wright do anything. She wants to help Mrs. Wright because she probably has the same situation with her husband. The two women also find a quilt that is not stitched very well. The women found this wired because they know that Mrs. Wright could have stitched it correctly but they figured that she was under stress. Mrs. Hale decided to fix the quilt should have been sewn. Mrs. Wright was worried about the cold bursting her jar of cherries on the shelf; I guess she felt enclosed in a jar like her fruit this reflected the dryness of her marriage.

Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale think what to do next, one of the women is with Mrs. Wright all the way and she is Mrs. Hale. Mrs. Peters is a little undecided at this point. Now Mrs. Hale justifies the murder to Mrs. Peters to get her to go along with the murder. The canary is what put Mrs. Wright to murder her husband when she found the canary dead, hidden in the sewing basket. At the beginning the two women find a cage but no bird. The bird was found and this is even more motive, this now gives the two women more evidence to dispose of now also. Mrs. Peters tries to put the dead canary in her purse but it will not fit, Mrs. Wright felt like the canary was part of her life like a child and she saw her canary dead this was the breaking point. The Canary symbolized her freedom inside she wanted to be like the bird able to fly and sing but at the same time in a cage. Mrs. Wright did not kill her husband just because he killed her bird, but because Minnie herself was a caged bird, and he strangled her by preventing her from communicating with others.

In the last few moments of the story the two women have help save Minnie Wright by with holding evidence and by going along with the trail that Minnie left for them to follow. The last symbol that is used is the knotted quilt. The knotted quilt symbolizes the rope she used to murder her husband. The men come back to find things undisturbed and intact, so they think. The county attorney even asks the women what kind of stitch was used on the quilt.

In "A Jury of Her Peers" the name is fitting to the story, because it puts the two women on the jury in a sense and has them dictate what should happen to Minnie Wright. The whole investigation was done entirely wrong, and was conducted by imbecile. The symbolism helps paint a picture that is clear to see, and let see things through the eyes of farmwomen. The picture that was painted was that of a farmwoman who was fed up with her husband, and murdering her husband was away out for her. The two women effectively dispose of evidence and foil a murder investigation without the men even knowing it. The right of justice was that Minnie Wright was finally free.

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