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Tsering Lama Essay #3 full draft

Tsering Paljor Lama
Prof. David Sibbit
Dear fellow judges on the Superior Court,
Today, I come to present a critical case about Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter, who are held under
suspicion of tampering with evidence in the murder case of John Wright killed by his wife, Mrs. Wright.
This is no ordinary case to be easily dismissed because it presents many facets of our society that are
overlooked due to our patriarchal society and prejudice against women. To reach a fair conclusion, in
this case, we need to understand what happened during the investigation. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters,
with their husbands, Mr. Hale, a farmer, Mr. Peter, the county sheriff, and Mr. Henderson, the county
attorney, arrive at Mrs. Wright's house to investigate the murder of Mr. Wright. During the investigation,
the men continue to make irrational comments to mock and insult women’s work and abilities after
seeing Mrs. Wright’s dirty kitchen and other things. Mrs. Hale doesn't take their words lightly and tries
to defend; however, she withdraws eventually, presumably in fear of men and authority, whereas Mrs.
Peter’s attitude towards the men is timid. Further, the men established a clear distinction between their
superiority over women as they engaged in more significant investigative decisions, leaving women to
wait in the kitchen to show where they belonged. The two women bond over their similarities and share
sentimental memories of Mrs. Wright’s life by going through her stuff in the kitchen. Surprisingly, they
start to find clues to the motive behind the murder in the kitchen, a place which men ignore due to their
prejudice. They realized that Mrs. Wright was abused by her husband emotionally and mentally for a
long time, ultimately provoking her to murder him. They also begin to learn how this is not only a single
case of abuse towards a woman; instead, every woman goes through abuse from men. Ultimately, they
decide to hide the evidence from the men in fear for themselves, Mrs. Wright, and to fight the prejudiced
system. After thorough consideration of the case, I believe acquitting Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter would
be the best decision for our society.
One reason for my acquittal of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter is best explained by revisiting Mrs.
Wright’s house. I believe what Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter saw and felt in that house that men failed to
see indicates a significant motive behind hiding the evidence of the murder. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter
could relate to Minnie Wright's life because they understand what women go through. They understand
that Minnie Wright was abused repeatedly by her husband, which led her to murder him. Evidence of
abuse against Minnie Wright is abundant throughout the home; one significant piece of evidence directly
points out is the dead canary in the box. Minnie Wright bought the canary last year; as stated by Mrs.
Hale when Mrs. Peter asks her if she had a bird after finding a birdcage: “Why, I don't know whether
she did or not--I've not been here for so long. There was a man around last year selling canaries cheap,
but I don't know, for she took one; maybe she did. She used to sing real pretty herself “(Glaspell 12). In
short, Mrs. Hale infers that she most likely did buy the canary because she liked to sing, and so do
canaries. However, we can infer that her husband killed it to abuse her. This abuse form is called “using
intimidation" (Power and Control Wheel). Essentially, people use this against their victim to “make her
afraid by using looks, actions, and gestures. Smashing things. Destroying property. Abusing pets.
Displaying weapons" (Power and Control Wheel). In short, we see this behavior from Mr. Wright when
he kills his wife’s pet. Based on the knowledge from the clues that Minnie Wright was abused, Mrs.
Hale and Mrs. Peter express to each other the struggle of being women and living under men's
domination without any voice and power to protect themselves independently. They secretly feel they
need to protect each other because they know that the law is biased against women. As a result, they
kept it quiet out of fear for themselves and Minnie Wight.
Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter's choice to hide the evidence also stems from their fear for Mrs. Wright
and their own since they knew that Mrs. Wright wasn't the only woman who had been abused. The abuse
of Minnie Wright, symbolized by the broken birdcage and dead canary, suggests that she felt trapped in
the marriage and felt emotionally and economically abused by her husband. This also made them realize
many other women are abused by men every day and everywhere, just in different ways. Mrs. Hale
“I might have known she needed help! I know how things can be--for women. I tell you, it's
queer, Mrs. Peters. We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same
things--it's all just a different kind of the same thing. (Brushes her eyes, noticing the bottle of
fruit, reaches out for it.) If I was you, I wouldn't tell her fruit was gone. Tell her it ain't. Tell her
it's all right. Take this in to prove it to her. She--she may never know whether it was broke or
not" (Glaspell 16).
In short, “We all go through the same things--it's all just a different kind of the same thing" implies that
every woman encounters the subjugation of men in her life in her own unique ways (Glaspell 16). Some
women may get abused through “threats, intimidation, male privilege, economic abuse," while others
may experience abuse from men “using children, diminishing, denying, blaming, isolating, and
emotional abuse" (Power and Control Wheel). This realization causes them to become more aware of
their own fear and the fear of all women because they don’t want to be continually subjugated by men.
They want to have equal rights and respect as much as men. These thoughts came to them when they
discovered the broken birdcage and the dead bird. Additionally, they determined that men are incapable
of empathizing with women's work due to their desire to dominate women and because they immediately
jump to undermine women's abilities without understanding what women experience. Ultimately, they
decide to hide the evidence as a way of defending themselves. In my judgment, Mrs. Hale and Mrs.
Peter don’t deserve to be prosecuted because they simply protect themselves and resist the patriarchy
that always has favored only men’s rights.
Due to the controversy of this case, I am aware that my colleagues may object to my decision to
acquit Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters by stating that the law is the law, and everyone who breaks the law
must be prosecuted. Otherwise, everyone will take advantage and cause an unruly society. I understand
the fear of everyone taking advantage of the law because that is detrimental to our justice system and
citizens. However, my colleagues forget that the law has never been impartial for everyone in this
country in making these claims. Women have always been at the mercy of men, both at home and
outside. Anything they say or claim is considered irrelevant or emotionally charged, making it hard for
men to believe them, even if they say they are being abused and threatened. In addition, we have never
given women equal roles in our society to lead, teach, and advance together. They are excluded from
any essential decisions for our community, such as voting, education, public servants, legislation, and
the justice system. Instead, they are only expected to do housework and family work. As a result, they
are left to endure all the pain, suffering, and abuse all by themselves. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters’s case
is no different from this. Their reason to hide the evidence is that they knew that our justice system was
biased against women. Even if they decided to tell the truth about why Minnie Wright killed her husband,
they knew that men wouldn’t believe them. More seriously, these men would simply ignore the reasons
and prosecute Minnie Wright. The ignorance of the men is apparent during the investigation, especially
Mr. Henderson, who sarcastically mocks Minnie Wright’s housekeeping skills as he checks around the
kitchen and finds a few dirty objects and says:
(with the gallantry of a young politician). And yet, for all their worries, what would we do
without the ladies? (The women do not unbend. He goes to the sink, takes a dipperful of water
from the pail and, pouring it into a basin, washes his hands. Starts to wipe them on the roller
towel, turns it for a cleaner place.) Dirty towels! (Kicks his foot against the pans under the sink.)
Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies? (Glaspell 7)
To put it bluntly, “ Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” infer that Mr. Henderson
considers that it is the sole responsibility of the women to keep the kitchen clean, simultaneously, failing
to notice and feel the dirty towel, broken jar, and unfinished work in the kitchen as a sign of abuse in
the house (Glaspell 7). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters sense this discriminatory behavior, contributing to
more albeit unconscious reasons to hide the evidence from the men. In conclusion, prosecuting these
women will result in more prejudice against women, fear of standing up against injustice, and continued
abuse by men; consequently, it will lead to an unruly society where men abuse women through the law.
However, suppose we want to progress with equality, diversity, and integrity. In that case, we need to
give equal rights to women, encourage them to speak out, and give them the platform to defend
themselves. Thus, the acquittal of Mrs. Hale and Peter will benefit our society in several ways. For
example, it will encourage women to fight against the abuse of men, live independently and without
much fear, and also be able to contribute to the advancement of our society.
In conclusion, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter’s case is still relevant in today’s world. Although
progress has been made in western culture, women in other nations are still fighting for equal rights.
Their equal education, job, security, and independence rights are simply nonexistent. One prime
example of such a country is Afghanistan, which recently came under the control of the former terrorist
group Taliban. Taliban group has always rejected equal rights for women due to their interpretation of
Islam religion and continues to force those laws. Many women are forced to live in fear and under the
mercy of men. One can only guess how many women are abused by men under such ruthless laws every
day and never have the support to speak out. When someone does speak, they are either not believed or
threatened. The comparison of Taliban rule against women is similar in how the men in the play force
women to withhold the truth. If we had a more equitable justice system, they wouldn’t have kept the
evidence to themselves because they wouldn’t have to fear being wrongly prosecuted. Thus, what we
decide today to either prosecute or acquit them will determine the future we will have. Suppose we
prosecute Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter. In that case, we will continue to scare innocent women from
speaking out against their abuser while giving men authority to continue exploiting their male privilege.
However, if we acquit, we will encourage a more equitable and diverse society where violence against
minorities is intolerable and an equal right and support to defend themselves is available.