The farmhouse in Trifles was accessed by several individuals between the time of the murder and law enforcement arriving. The sheriff even sent Frank over that morning to start a fire for warmth, instructing him “not to touch anything except the stove – and you know Frank.” The men in the play are only interested in observing the areas where John would have been within the home, deeming the kitchen as unimportant. If they had only taken a few moments to consider the mindset and life of Mrs. Wright they would have discovered all the information they sought. Minnie’s obligation once married was to provide John with children, the fact they were childless helps to show her “failure” in this role in the men’s eyes, yet the women see the detached relationship she shared with John and the profound silence of a home without little ones. Mrs. Hale discovers an unfinished quilt with some very erratic stitching where Mrs. Wright has left off and begins to remove the stitches, as if trying to undo what has already happened. When the quilting method of Mrs. Wright is discovered the women link her method with the knot used around John’s neck. Without ever seeing
Trifles is a play by Susan Glaspell taking place in and around a farmhouse in 1916. The owner of the farmhouse, Mr. Wright, is found dead when his neighbor Mr. Hale makes an unannounced visit early one frigid morning. As he lets himself into the farmhouse he finds Mrs. Wright sitting in a rocking chair in the disarrayed kitchen. Eventually, she tells him that her husband is upstairs dead with a rope around his neck. While Mrs. Wright is in custody an investigation is taking place at the farmhouse and those in attendance include; George Henderson, the county attorney; Mr. Hale; Mrs. Hale; Henry Peters, the sheriff; and Mrs. Peters. While searching for a motive at the farmhouse the men were distracted because during that time period women were cast into low positions in society leading the men to mock the women in this play written by Susan Glaspell whom is known to produce work with strong feminist concepts.
Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a one-act play centered around a woman, Mrs. Wright, who allegedly murdered her husband, Mr. Wright, in the night. There are no witnesses of his death; only unofficial confessions and he-said she-said talk. Without viable evidence and information (and the absence of Mrs. Wright altogether), the play soon focuses on a group of people who gather at the Wrights’ home the day after the murder. These characters include a male sheriff, county attorney, and neighboring farmer and their two wives. It is their job to determine what truly happened to Mr. Wright and piece together any evidence that would enable the conviction of Mrs. Wright. It is with the plot, setting, and overall use of symbolism that Glaspell communicates her message and themes. These messages and themes, which are the glue to the play, allow the audience to understand how unhappy of a life Mrs. Wright lived and how men viewed women’s roles as unimportant.
Henderson,” the ending of the story was a significant part. These couple of sentences changed the relationship between men and women. It made women superior, by reversing the roles of gender. Throughout the story men were busy solving John Wrights murder in the farmhouse. Continuing this further, The main suspects were Mr.Hale and his wife, suspected of strangling him. The police were not paying attention to the, “Trifles,” that women were worrying about. Interestingly, the title is ironically called trifles too, it is relevant to the short story. It can take on another meaning, women are treated like trifles as well. The women found all the evidence rather than the men because men did not spend their time in kitchens. Where women spent most of their time , due to isolation. As well as, female and male roles. While Mrs.Hale and Mrs Peters had all the evidence and the choice to hand it in or keep it to themselves. At the end the men were clueless to what they were up to. They figured out that the reason she killed her husband, was because of the endless neglect and emotional abuse she felt towards her husband, Mr.Wright. As they too can relate to her circumstances, all it took was one look and they instantly acted. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters hid the evidence of the dead canary. Taking a stand, and standing up to men by breaking the law. The central conflicts of the short story is equality, justice and
I. Article Summary: Suzy Clarkson Holstein's article, “Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell's 'Trifles'” evaluates the play Trifles and how the difference between the men in the play mirror how a woman's perspective is very different from a man's. Trifles is about two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who show up at a house with their husbands and the county attorney to investigate a murder. The entire time the men are looking for evidence to implicate the accused wife, Minnie Wright, of killing her husband. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are there to gather up some items to bring Minnie Wright in jail. While doing so, the women uncover evidence that would prove the wife is culpable but decide to hide it from the men in the last moments of the play. Trifles is evaluated on how the women are able to come up with the evidence unlike the men because they didn't approach it like a crime scene but rather a home, “By contrast, the women arrive at a home. Although neither they or the men realize it, they too are conducting an investigation” (Holstein 283). Holstein also notes they are able to find evidence because they use their own life experiences to relate to the accused murderer, Minnie Wright as shown here; “But the women do not simply remember and sympathize with Minnie. They identify with her, quite literally” (285). Holstein finishes the article by noting the women decide to hide the evidence because of the solidarity they feel towards Minnie Wright; “From Mrs. Hale's perspective, people are linked together through fragile, sometimes imperceptible strands. The tiny trifles of life –a neighbor's visit, a bird's song, the sewing of a quilt –have profound reverberations” (287).
The women’s silence about their knowledge at the end of “Trifles” is a sign of defiance of male authority because it describes the suffrage that women had and probably still goes through. They don’t want to seem like they had to give them the evidence because if they did that mean they were obeying the male. Because of the nightmares Mrs. Wright has been going through so they stood up for her and they have hidden the evidence. I feel as though two stories of revenge were told in this play, one was the revenge of suppression and being portrayed as ‘unworldly, mindless’ women. In the beginning of the story, it describe the struggle that she be going through with her husband. Even the other women realize her emotional life. They propose that her
The power of women is different than that of men. Women display a subtle and indirect kind of power, but can be resilient enough to impact the outside world. In Trifles, Susan Glaspell delivers the idea that gender and authority are chauvinistic issues that confirm male characters as the power holders, while the female characters are less significant and often weak. This insignificance and weakness indicated in the play by the fact that the women had the evidence to solve a murder, but the men just ignored the women as if they had no value to the case at all. This weakness and inability of the female to contest the man’s view are apparent. According to Ben-Zvi, “Women who kill evoke fear because they challenge societal constructs of femininity-passivity, restraint, and nurture; thus the rush to isolate and label the female offender, to cauterize the act” (141). This play presents women against men, Ms. Wright against her husband, the two women against their spouses and the other men. The male characters are logical, arrogant, and stupid while the women are sympathetic, loyal, and drawn to empathize with Mrs. Wright and forgive her crime. The play questions the extent to which one should maintain loyalty to others. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale try to withhold incriminating evidence against Mrs. Wright, and by challenging the reader to question whether
In the play Trifles, written by Susan Glaspell, a small number of people are at the Wright house trying to figure out why and how Mr. Wright was murdered. Mrs. Wright is already the suspect, and all that is needed for the case is evidence for a motive. The jury needs something to show anger or sudden feeling so that they can convict her for murder. The men, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Peters, and Mr. Hale are there to find the evidence. The women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, are there to pick up a select few items for Mrs. Wright. While the men are going about business and looking for evidence to build a case against Mrs. Wright, the women are looking over what Mrs. Wright left behind and intuitively trying to understand what happened. They are also trying to fathom why Mrs. Wright would be compelled to perform such an act of violence. As the story goes on, it constructs each of the characters in slightly different means. Susan Glaspell presents Mr. Wright and Mrs. Hale as having contrasting and comparable characteristics. While Mrs. Hale and Mr. Wright differ in terms of emotions, they are similar in their cleanliness and are well respected by others.
Susan Glaspell highlights the settings as theatrical metaphors for male dominated society in the early 20th century. “Trifles” begins with an investigation into the murder of Mr. Wright. The crime scene is taken at his farmhouse where clues are found that reveals Minnie Wright to be a suspect of murder. In the beginning of the play, it clearly embodies the problems of subordination of women. For example, there are two main characters in this play—Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who are brought along with the sheriff and attorney to find evidence for Mr. Wright’s murder. The men gather and work together at the stove and they talk with each other in familiarity while women “stand close together near the door behind men” (Glaspell 444). Perhaps the location of the women standing behind the men near the door reflects also their secondary or inferior social standing in the eyes of the men. Moreover, it seems that the wo...
"Trifles," a one-act play written by Susan Glaspell, is a cleverly written story about a murder and more importantly, it effectively describes the treatment of women during the early 1900s. In the opening scene, we learn a great deal of information about the people of the play and of their opinions. We know that there are five main characters, three men and two women. The weather outside is frighteningly cold, and yet the men enter the warm farmhouse first. The women stand together away from the men, which immediately puts the men against the women. Mrs. Hale?s and Mrs. Peters?s treatment from the men in the play is reflective of the beliefs of that time. These women, aware of the powerless slot that has been made for them, manage to use their power in a way that gives them an edge. This power enables them to succeed in protecting Minnie, the accused. "Trifles" not only tells a story, it shows the demeaning view the men have for the women, the women?s reaction to man?s prejudice, and the women?s defiance of their powerless position.
The strong women characters in Trifles allow for feminist discussion, but also question the classic gender roles present at any point in time. Through the crime committed by Minnie Wright, three women grow together and establish that justice for all is deeper than finding the culprit. Justice occurs in all things, in hiding the clues by Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, in the quiet dignity they both have by helping their friend, and by proving that women are capable of anything they are determined to
The play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell is type of murder mystery that takes place in the early 1900’s. The play begins when the sheriff Mr. Peters and county attorney Mr. Henderson come to attempt to piece together what had happen on the day that Mr. Wright was murder. While investigating the seen of the murder, they are accompanied by the Mr. Hale, Mrs. Hale and Mr. Peters. Mr. Hale had told that Mrs. Wright was acting strange when he found her in the kitchen. After taking information from Mr. Hale, the men leave the women in the kitchen and go upstairs at seen of the murder. The men don’t realize the plot of the murder took place in the kitchen.
Trifles is based on a murder in 1916 that Susan Glaspell covered while she was a journalist with the Des Moines Daily News after she graduated from college. At the end of the nineteenth century, the world of literature saw a large increase of female writers. Judith Fetterley believed that there was an extremely diverse and intriguing body of prose literature used during the nineteenth century by American women. The main idea of this type of literature was women and their lives. The reason all of the literature written by women at this time seems so depressing is due to the fact that they had a tendency to incorporate ideas from their own lives into their works. Glaspell's Trifles lives up to this form of literature, especially since it is based on an actual murder she covered. This play is another look at the murder trial through a woman's point of view.
“Trifles”, by Susan Glaspell, focuses on three points; relationship between men and women, the privacy of a home life and the justice that law must find. By using the play structure, powerful diction, meaningful symbolism and a tense tone, she successfully serves her purpose. The classic plot line of progression only further allows the reader to be enthralled by the focus of the story.
Susan Glaspell’s Trifles (1916), is a play that accounts for imprisonment and loneliness of women in a patriarchal society. The plot has several instances where women issues are perceived to be mere trifles by their male counterparts. The title is of significant importance in supporting the main theme of the story and developing the plot that leads to the evidence of the mysterious murder. Trifles can be defined as things of less importance; in this story dramatic, verbal and situational irony is used to show how the insignificant trifles lead to a great deal of truth in a crime scene investigation. The title of the story “Trifles” is used ironically to shape the unexpected evidence discovered by women in