Kristen Elizabeth

When I opened the storm door and I realized how cold and windy it was, I ran back inside to grab my big wool scarf. While I was putting it on I looked around my kitchen and saw the current condition of it. It was horrible. My kitchen was in no way how a housewife should leave her kitchen in Dickson County. My bread mixture was ready to be mixed, half of my flour was sifted and half was un sifted.

I hated when things were left only half done; but I had been at that when the team from town stopped to get my husband, Mr. Hale, and then the sheriff came running in to say his wife wished I would come too — adding, with a grin, that he guessed she was getting scary and wanted another woman along. So I had dropped everything right where it was.

“My husband in his impatient tone of voice screamed, “Martha, Don’t keep folks waiting out here in the cold.”

I again opened the storm-door, and joined the sheriff, and two other men and the sheriff’s wife who was the one woman in the big two-seated buggy.

After I had the robes tucked around me, I took another look at the Mrs. Peters who was the sheriff’s wife who sat beside me on the back seat. I had met her at the county fair last year and the only thing that I remembered about her was the fact that she didn’t seem like an ideal sheriff’s wife. She was a small and thin woman that didn’t have a strong voice. Mrs. Gorman, who was the sheriff’s wife before Mrs. Peters, had a voice that somehow seemed to be very intimidating. Every word she said backed up the law. And since Mrs. Peters didn’t look like a sheriff’s wife, her husband Mr.  Peters made up for it in looking like a sheriff. He was exactly the kind of man who could get himself elected as a sheriff. He was a heavy man with a big voice, who was particularly genial with the law-abiding; as if to make it plain that he knew the difference between criminals and non-criminals. And right there it came into my mind, with a stab, that this man who was so pleasant and lively with all of them was going to the Wrights’ now as a sheriff.

“The country’s not very pleasant this time of year,” Mrs. Peters at last ventured, as if she felt they ought to be talking as well as the men.

I scarcely finished my reply, for they had gone up a little hill and could see the Wright place now and seeing it did not make me feel like talking. It looked very abandoned on this cold March morning. It had always been a lonesome and abandoned looking place. The house was down in a hollow, and the poplar trees around it were lonesome-looking trees. The men were looking at it and talking about what had happened. The county attorney was bending to one side of the buggy, and kept looking steadily at the place as we drove up to it.

“I’m glad you came with me,” Mrs. Peters said nervously to me as we were about to follow the men and walk through the kitchen door.

Even after I had my foot on the door-step and my hand on the door knob, I had a moment of feeling that I could not cross that threshold and enter the house. It seemed I couldn’t cross it because I never crossed it before. Time and time again it had been in my mind that I should go over there and visit Minnie Foster because I still thought of her as Minnie Foster, even though for twenty years she had been Mrs. Wright. And then there was always something to do and Minnie Foster would go from her mind. But now she could come.

The men went over to the stove, while us women stood close together by the door. Young Henderson, the county attorney, turned around and said, “Come up to the fire, ladies.”

Mrs. Peters took a step forward, and then stopped. “I’m not — cold,” she said.

And so us women stood by the door, at first not even so much as looking around the kitchen.

The men talked for a minute about what a good thing it was the sheriff had sent his deputy out that morning to make a fire for them, and then Sheriff Peters stepped back from the stove, unbuttoned his outer coat, and leaned his hands on the kitchen table in a way that seemed to mark the beginning of official business. “Now, Mr. Hale,” he said in a sort of semi-official voice, “before we move things about, you tell Mr. Henderson just what it was you saw when you came here yesterday morning.”




A Jury of Her Peers is a story about Minnie Foster or Minnie Wright; however the main character seems to be Mrs. Hale. When I decided to re-write A Jury of Her Peers I chose to change the narration to first person and told the story through the eyes of Mrs. Hale.

A Jury of Her Peers begins by introducing Mrs. Hale to the reader and explaining a little about her. It begins in Mrs. Hale’s kitchen as she waits to be picked up by the sheriff and his wife to take a ride to the Wright household. The author explains that Mrs. Hale is a very neat and orderly person that keeps her life in order. The author explains how she observes things in such a descriptive way. The original version says “As she hurriedly wound that round her head her eye made a scandalized sweep of her kitchen. It was no ordinary thing that called her away — it was probably farther from ordinary than anything that had ever happened in Dickson County. But what her eye took in was that her kitchen was in no shape for leaving; her bread all ready for mixing, half the flour sifted and half unsifted.” This shows that Mrs. Hale wanted things to be neat orderly. She doesn’t like to leave anything unfinished. Throughout the story Mrs. Hale is able to keep her voice and tone even. She carefully chooses everything that she says.

The women characters in “A Jury of Her Peers” are quiet, looked down upon, and are to be kept in their place as women and nothing more. Since Mrs. Hale is very observant and pays close attention to detail, her actions and observations are that leads to the conclusion of the story. Again just like in the beginning of the story how Mrs. Hale described her kitchen that thinking and her close attention to detail was how she eventually pieced the evidence together to solve what the men could not. Mrs. Hale was not the type of person to leave anything half done and therefore she was able to notice when things were left unfinished or out of place. . “The cover was off the wooden bucket, and beside it was a paper bag half-full.”… “She was putting this in there,” she said to herself-slowly.”

In both versions of the story you can compare Mrs. Hale to Mrs. Peters. Mrs. Hale always seems strong and confident. However, Mrs. Peters always seems a little shy and unsure at times. This is shown also in both versions of the story when it says “She had met Mrs. Peters the year before at the county fair, and the thing she remembered about her was that she didn’t seem like a sheriff’s wife. She was small and thin and didn’t have a strong voice. Mrs. Gorman, sheriff’s wife before Gorman went out and Peters came in, had a voice that somehow seemed to be backing up the law with every word. But if Mrs. Peters didn’t look like a sheriff’s wife, Peters made it up in looking like a sheriff.”

In my version of the story, I told it from the view of Mrs. Hale. I told the story from the beginning up until the beginning of the investigation. My story shows an indebt view of Mrs. Hale through her eyes. If I continued telling this story you could see how people viewed her and how she felt toward that. Women were heavily looked down upon during this time and the fact that the women in this story played such a heavy role in discovering what happened to Mr. Wright before the men did, and the fact that Mrs. Wright was capable of doing what she did even though she was a women who was looked down upon because of her sex was amazing.

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