The setting of the play is based on messy kitchen in a solitary countryside farmhouse, swiftly establishes the dreadful atmosphere of the play. As the cold winter blows outside the house, a procession of people enters the house to investigate the brutal murder. The owner of the farm, Mr. John Wright, has been asphyxiated to death while sleeping. His wife Minnie Wright has been held in custody being the first suspect to the murder. Henry Peters, a local Sheriff, is the first to enter the house followed by district attorney, George Henderson. The next person to enter the house is Lewis Hale, who is a neighbor to the deceased. All the three gather around the stove to warm their body as they prepare to start the investigation. The Sheriff’s wife and Mrs. Hale follow the three men into the kitchen. However, they hesitate just outside the kitchen door. They seem more disturbed by what has happened and appear more cautious than the men. The entrance of these women is very significant (Susan 1).
The investigation embarks on by grilling Lewis who had discovered the body the previous day. Lewis explains that he was on his way to the market (nearest town) but made a call at Wright’s farmhouse to inquire if they were interested in sharing a telephone line with him. The diseased was a very close neighbor. Lewis admits that he did not think Mr. Wright was be interested, since was a man of few words and did not care much about what his wife wanted. When he was at the door, he found the deceased wife fidgeting uneasily on the chair, pleating a sweater. When he asked her where her husband was, she told him quietly that he was upstairs with a twine on his neck, lying lifeless (Susan 1).
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Lewis called Harry to check the crime scene. They found the body lying in the same position as described by the deceased wife. The deceases wife claimed that his husband was strangled in the night quietly by someone without and she only discovered it later. The neighbors were very shocked (Susan 2). The play illustrates the major divide between men and women- psychological, social and physical divide. This is shown by the three women who ware very scared to get into the murder scene. Men on the other hand are very bold and confident with what they are doing. The physical nature of men is also illustrated by Mr. Hale who had a heavy load of potato heading to the nearest town.
John depicts the insensitive nature of men in the society. Mr. Hale explains that he didn’t care of what his wife wanted. Minnie, the diseased wife is obviously guilty. Mr. Hale explains that she looked nervous rocking on the chair when he stopped by on his way to the town, She also lies that her husband was strangled silently by someone else without her knowledge. This is not true given the fact that they were sleeping in the same room. She depicts the dishonest nature of women in the society Minnie also appears like she was not happy in her marriage. When Hale met her at the door she did not appear to be in pain and did not report to the authority about the murder. This leaves the readers guessing on what she was planning to do next. Was she panning on how to lie to the authority or dump the body? We don’t know.