The quilt that the women wish to bring to Minnie Wright in jail takes on symbolic meaning through repeated discussion of two types of quilting styles: regular quilting and knotting. At first, Mrs. Peters and Martha Hale discuss these quilting techniques literally, but the story concludes with George Henderson asking about which quilting technique Minnie was planning to use to finish the quilt. In this scene, Martha Hale’s statement that she was planning to “knot it” symbolizes the act of killing by tying a rope around another’s neck. At the end of the story, the two women are sure of Minnie’s guilt and also understand why Minnie killed her cruel husband, but they have not further discussed the making of the quilt. Therefore, the certainty in Martha Hale’s statement shows that the act of “knotting the quilt” is a symbolic one. The men, of course, overlook the metaphorical implications of this action, dismissing it as just another trifle.
The Quilt Quotes in A Jury of Her Peers
“…at least we found out that she was not going to quilt it. She was going to—what is it you call it, ladies?”
“We call it—knot it, Mr. Henderson.”