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Crawford Rummel

Professor Clark

American Literature after 1865

29 September 2017

Essay 1 Process Folder

List of Significant Actions

Sheriff Peters and Mrs. Peters, Mr. Hale and Mrs. Hale, and the county attorney go to the

Wrights house to investigate the death of Mr. Wright

The men stand by the fire and start discussing while the women stand to the side

Mr. Hale explains what he found/ saw the day before at the Wrights house

After he told the story, the county attorney opened the cupboard and found Mrs. Wrights

fruit jars busted

The county attorney and Mrs. Hale talk about the kitcken and how it looks bad

The men go to the bedroom while the women stay in the kitchen

Mrs. Hale cleans up the kitchen a little and then they gather clothes to bring to Mrs.

Wright in her holding cell.

The women start investigating on their own and find lots of things half done, including a


Mrs. Hale fixes the quilt, and Mrs. Peters stumbles upon an empty bird cage.

The women find the dead bird in a box in the sewing basket, and figure out someone

must have wrung its neck to kill it, in the same fashion that Mr. Wright was killed.

The men came back inside and the women lie about the bird and its cage, knowing it

would make Mrs. Wright guilty.

Now knowing what happened, the women discuss the bird and the Wrights when the men

go upstairs for the second time.

The women talk about Mrs. Wright and they know she is guilty, but they dont think she

deserves to be punished.

The men come back into the kitchen, joke about the women, and go back to investigating.

Mrs. Hale takes the box, concealing the evidence that would show motive and make Mrs.

Wright guilty.
Shifts in my own understanding/attitude

At the beginning, I felt that the men would be running the show, with the women being

somewhat trivial and not doing much.

I noticed a sadness within Mrs. Hale, not because of the death of Mr. Wright, but because she felt

bad about not visiting Mrs. Wright.

When the men went upstairs, it was noticeable that the women were the focal point of the story,

since the story completely surrounded them and what the men were doing while investigating

was not discussed.

As they progressed through looking around the kitchen, I began to get the feeling that they would

discover something meaningful for the case.

When the men made jokes about the women, I began to understand how much women were

looked down upon in those days, seen as just housemaids and cooks.

When they found the bird, my understanding of their job in the story was now to become the

judge of whether or not Mrs. Wright would be guilty or not.

At this point, my attitude towards the story was that it was about the role of gender and women,

and how men looked down upon women, but the women were as capable if not more capable of

fulfilling the duties the men were given.

By the end, I even kind of felt for Mrs. Wright, as she lived in a bad household and lived a

horrible lifestyle in part because of her husband, and I began to understand why the women did

not reveal the bird to the men.

Insights/Realizations the protagonist has

Mrs. Hale begins to feel bad for Mrs. Wright at the start of the story before they head over to the

Wright household, realizing she had not visited her old friend in a long time.

When she got to the house, she noticed how lonesome it looked and how out of shape the kitchen

was, and she felt even worse for her friend.

When they find the bird cage, she has the insight that Mrs. Wright used to have a beautiful voice

until Mr. Wright put a damper on things, and concludes that is why she got the bird, to hear

beautiful noise again.

Once she finds the dead bird, she realizes Mrs. Wright killed her husband, but she focuses on the

fact that Mrs. Wright must have done this because of the bad life she lived, so she focuses on her

pain and sadness for her friend instead of the fact she murdered someone.

While Mrs. Peters thought for a second that they need to give up the evidence because its the

law, Mrs. Hale disagrees with it, and thinks that someone with this kind of life and loneliness

does not deserve the punishment the law would give her.

Around this time, she realizes/thinks that the fault of the murder is somewhat on her, because

maybe if she visited more often Mrs. Wright would be happier, and this murder would never

have happened.
By the end, she realizes by hiding the bird, she might be doing some sort of good act for her

friend, possibly fixing their broken relationship.

Key Insights/Realizations a Character Has (Mrs. Peters)

At the beginning, Mrs. Peters felt she was just along for the ride and was supposed to stay out of

the way, except for getting things that Mrs. Wright may need such as clothes.

As she talked with Mrs. Hale, she began to feel for Mrs. Wright, and understand how lonely her

life must have been.

When they discovered the bird, Mrs. Peters realized that Mrs. Wright was guilty of murder, but

talking with Mrs. Hale made her feel that she might not have to be so law-abiding like she should

be as being the sheriffs wife, and that there is something more than this than just putting

someone in jail.

Further on, she gains confidence in the decision Mrs. Hale and her made, and it allows her to see

the world differently and not as an inferior person as the men make them feel.

By the end of the story, Mrs. Peters believes she made the right choice, and also began to feel

more of a drive to go against the ways the men expect them to act.
Hints or Explanations the Narrator Offers

At the start, it is already noticeable that the women are inferior, and that the men are running the


The narrator shows that Mrs. Hale has a broken relationship with Mrs. Wright, and this has a

feeling of major importance in the story.

The hints about the unfinished work of Mrs. Wright gives an insight into who was the murderer

of her husband.

With focusing on the women in the story, the narrator shows that this storys theme is gender

equality, and it stresses the major problems that come with an unequal gender society.

By having Mrs. Hale hide the bird, the narrator gives an explanation as to the broken relationship

of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Wright and her newfound efforts to fix it.

By the end of the story, the narrator provides a sufficient explanation as to how women were

treated during these days, while emphasizing womens ability to be just as, and especially more

competent than their gender counterpart.

Theories or Explanations the Protagonist Considers

At the start, Mrs. Hales theory was there was no way Mrs. Wright killed her husband.

Her explanation as to why the kitchen was in such shambles was because Mr. Wright did not

give his wife a quality life to live, and she was always surrounded by loneliness.

When they find out Mrs. Wright did kill her husband, she theorizes that this was out of loneliness

and for many other reasons, such as her never coming to the Wrights house to visit.

She explains that she believes it is her fault, since she did not put in the time to make her friend

happy and make sure she lived a good life.

By the end, Mrs. Hale decides Mr. Wright must have made her felt so lonely and sad that the

action of killing her husband was justified, and that by hiding the bird she would help repair not

only her relationship with her friend but also Mrs. Wrights life as a whole.
Maps and Chart
Re-Written Passage

My hand was on the sewing basket in which the box with the bird was concealed. I felt

that I ought to take my hand off the basket, but I wasnt able to. The attorney picked up one of

the quilt blocks which I had piled on to cover up the box, and my eyes began to feel like fire the

closer he was to the box. I had a feeling that if he did take up the sewing basket, I would just

snatch it out of his hands. But he didnt take it up. With another laugh, he turned away, saying:

No; Mrs. Peters doesnt need supervising. For that matter, a sheriffs wife is married to

the law. Ever think of it that way, Mrs. Peters?

Mrs. Peters was standing beside the table, and I shot a look up at her, but she couldnt see

my face, but she had turned away.

Switching from a heterodiegetic narrator to an autodiegetic one, the passage shows that it

becomes more personal, and allows us to see inside the mind and thoughts of Mrs. Hale in this


With a heterodiegetic narrator that looks through the eyes of the protagonist Mrs. Hale, A Jury

of Her Peers illustrates the major problem with gender inequality during the older days and the

reasons it needed to be fixed.

Testing Hypothesis

Key Supporting Evidence

o The fact the protagonist was Mrs. Hale

o The narrator focused on the women the whole time

o The men were always looking in the wrong spots, never finding anything that

mattered to the case.

Aspects of story relevant to my task

o The loneliness of Mrs. Wright

o The gender inequality in the police force

o The structure of the household during these times

Parts of my hypothesis that arent clear

o How the storys main theme is gender inequality

o The scenario in the story that makes it about gender inequality

How my argument adds to the understanding of readers

o It shows the reader how the narrator is trying to represent gender inequality

o Helps the reader understand broken relationships and what they can bring

o Helps the reader understand why the women decided to make the choices that

they did.