The story starts with Mr. and Mrs. Hale going to the crime scene with sheriff Peters and his wife Mrs. Peters. Martha Hale and Mrs. Peters are main female characters. Martha met sheriffs wife only once at county fair, so she doesn’t know her very well, but she forms an opinion of her in her mind comparing her to the wife of the previous sheriff. But regardless of what they may think or thought of each other the two women form a bond of something that one could call compassion to the third main character of the story, Minnie Foster. Minnie is the main suspect in the murder case of John Wright, which took place in his own house. When arrived to the crime scene, the women are sent to downstairs to the kitchen to gather what is needed for Minnie. The sheriff and other men present at the house try to figure out what really happened and gather some clues. All the while men are upstairs going about the traditional detective ways of uncovering the truth and gathering evidence, the women are downstairs, with all the kitchen things.
By describing the behavior of the characters, the author wanted the reader to see how men dominate the situation, how they hold the authority over women in the plot. Women are not allowed to take part in the investigation, but ironically it is these women who actually unearth key clues and form conclusions as to what could be the reason for Minnie Foster to be able to commit such a crime. After the women find a dead bird and other objects that could essentially be used against Minnie, the women decide to conceal the evidence. And all of a sudden the story takes an interesting turn. The men that were dominant in the beginning are now seen as outsiders, as it is women that overpower men with knowledge of the case and take matters into their own hands. The author of this short fiction turns things around leaving male characters on the outskirts of knowledge. And just like the main male characters, at the end the reader is also left on the outskirts. The author left the reader to draw own conclusions as to what really happened in John Wright’s murder case. In this case the reader, sort of, takes either feminine or masculine side, therefore becoming the jury for Minnie Foster based on the decision made.