Analysis Pages

Setting in A Jury of Her Peers

Setting Examples in A Jury of Her Peers:

A Jury of Her Peers


"Dickson County..."   (A Jury of Her Peers)

Fictional Dickson County is a rural farming community in early-20th-century Iowa. Glaspell’s assertion that Mrs. Hale is called away by something “farther from ordinary than anything that had ever happened in Dickson County,” establishes this town as quiet and small. Glaspell thus creates a mysterious, suspenseful tone at the very start of the story.

"It came into Mrs. Hale's mind that that rocker didn't look in the least like Minnie Foster—the Minnie Foster of twenty years before. It was a dingy red, with wooden rungs up the back, and the middle rung was gone, and the chair sagged to one side. ..."   (A Jury of Her Peers)

Mrs. Hale compares the furniture she sees in the Wright house to the Minnie Foster that she knew 20 years ago. Since Mrs. Hale has not visited Minnie in her home or kept in contact with her, she looks to the furniture of the place to draw conclusions about Minnie’s life. In this way, the setting can be read as a metaphorical representation of both Minnie’s circumstances and identity.

"lonesome-looking place..."   (A Jury of Her Peers)

The Wright house is lonely, shaded by trees, and removed from the road. This description of the setting creates an ominous tone and suggests that there is something amiss about this home.

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