A Jury of Her Peers

Martha Hale Character Analysis

The wife of Mr. Hale and resident of the nearest farm to the Wrights’ home. Due to this proximity, as well as her acquaintance with the young Minnie Wright (when her name was Minnie Foster), Mrs. Hale feels immense responsibility for not having visited the married Minnie Wright in twenty years. Martha Hale is established as the protagonist of the story from the first few paragraphs. She is more strong-willed than Mrs. Peters (and is given a first name, unlike the other woman). She defies her husband and the law by concealing the evidence against Minnie Wright, ultimately choosing to ally herself with a fellow woman against the patriarchal society in which they live.

Martha Hale Quotes in A Jury of Her Peers

The A Jury of Her Peers quotes below are all either spoken by Martha Hale or refer to Martha Hale. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the University of Iowa Press edition of A Jury of Her Peers published in 2010.
A Jury of Her Peers Quotes

“Oh, well, women are used to worrying over trifles.”

Related Characters: Lewis Hale (speaker), Mrs. Peters, Martha Hale, Minnie Wright
Related Symbols: Trifles, Canning Jars of Fruit
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

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“They think it was such a—funny way to kill a man.”
“That’s just what Mr. Hale said….There was a gun in the house. He says that’s what he can’t understand.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Peters (speaker), Martha Hale (speaker), Lewis Hale, Minnie Wright
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“‘But he was a hard man, Mrs. Peters. Just to pass the time of day with him—’She stopped, shivered a little. ‘Like a raw wind that gets to the bone’.”

Related Characters: Martha Hale (speaker), Mrs. Peters, John Wright
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“‘Oh, I wish I’d come over here once in a while!’ She cried. ‘That was a crime! That was a crime! Who’s going to punish that?’”

Related Characters: Martha Hale (speaker), Mrs. Peters, Minnie Wright
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“We all go through the same things—it’s all just a different kind of the same thing!”

Related Characters: Martha Hale (speaker), Mrs. Peters, Minnie Wright
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“…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.”

Related Characters: George Henderson (speaker), Martha Hale (speaker), Minnie Wright
Related Symbols: The Quilt
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Martha Hale Character Timeline in A Jury of Her Peers

The timeline below shows where the character Martha Hale appears in A Jury of Her Peers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Jury of Her Peers
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
The story begins with protagonist Martha Hale ’s hasty departure from her farmhouse in Dickinson County, Iowa. Martha Hale hates to leave... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Crime and Punishment Theme Icon
...group of neighbors includes Mr. Peters and Mrs. Peters and the country attorney George Henderson. Martha Hale doesn’t know Mrs. Peters well, but she reflects that Mrs. Peters doesn’t look like the... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Male Obliviousness to Women’s Importance Theme Icon
Crime and Punishment Theme Icon
...Peters asks Lewis Hale to describe what he witnessed at the farmhouse the day before. Mrs. Hale looks on nervously because she knows her husband is not very good at retelling stories.... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Crime and Punishment Theme Icon
...to dry his hands. From this, he assumes aloud that Minnie is a poor housekeeper. Mrs. Hale angrily says that a farmer’s wife’s work is never done and that Minnie must have... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Male Obliviousness to Women’s Importance Theme Icon
...if the women would know a clue if they found one. The men go upstairs. Mrs. Hale is still frustrated by George Henderson’s unfair critique of Minnie’s housekeeping, and tells Mrs. Peters... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Male Obliviousness to Women’s Importance Theme Icon
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
Mrs. Peters asks Mrs. Hale to help her find the items Minnie requested: clothes and an apron, an item that... (full context)
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
Suddenly Mrs. Hale asks Mrs. Peters if she thinks that Minnie is guilty of the crime for which... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Male Obliviousness to Women’s Importance Theme Icon
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
The women find a quilt that Minnie Wright was working on. As Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are admiring the quilt, the men return and are amused to hear the women speculating... (full context)
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
Crime and Punishment Theme Icon
...birdcage. The women speculate about the fate of the bird that once filled the cage. Mrs. Hale says it might have been killed by the Wrights’ cat, but Mrs. Peters reports that... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Male Obliviousness to Women’s Importance Theme Icon
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
Mrs. Hale berates herself for her letting her own concerns stop her from visiting Minnie. Mrs. Hale’s... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Mrs. Peters did not know Minnie before she met the charged woman the previous day. Mrs. Hale tells Mrs. Peters about the Minnie Foster she knew and says that she changed dramatically... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
...twisted to the side. The men return to the kitchen and, in a sudden decision, Mrs. Hale conceals the dead bird’s box under the quilt. George Henderson brings up the previous joke... (full context)
The Subjugation of Women Theme Icon
...have caused her to hurt the boy if she hadn’t been held back by others. Mrs. Hale , caught up in her own train of thought, says that John Wright must have... (full context)
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
...off her cloud of memory and firmly says, “the law has got to punish crime.” Mrs. Hale responds by calling her own actions crimes, exclaiming that she ought to be punished for... (full context)
Legal Obligations vs. Gender Loyalty Theme Icon
Crime and Punishment Theme Icon
...the dead bird in her handbag and is flustered as the bag is too small. Mrs. Hale snatches the box and puts it in her pocket. The men reappear, and George Henderson... (full context)