Psychopathic: One Murder after Another
In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, Mrs. Wright has been arrested for the murder of her husband. The author describes her as a hard working house wife. She would spend hours in the hot summer making fruit preserves. Minnie Foster uses to be lively and social before she married John Wright. She would sing in a choir like a beautiful bird. From this perspective, readers will surely believe she is innocent. There is no way a sweet lady like her could have committed such a hideous crime, or could she? Although she had a normal personality, Mrs. Wright possesses a dark side. The killing of her husband is not an act of revenge for the death of her bird, but surely an act of a psychopath.
According to Cleckley, psychopaths normally show anxiety and do not feel guilt once they have committed a crime. Cleckley states, “The crimes of psychopaths are usually stone-cold, remorseless killings for no apparent reason. They cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please without the slightest sense of guilt or regret” (Cleckley). Psychopaths lack the ability to feel remorse and empathy. They feed themselves with the suffering of their victims. Sometimes, they collect certain things from their victims and keep them as trophies. In addition, psychopaths are calculated predators. Once they have picked a victim, they will take days or even weeks to plan out the attack.
Robert Hare once claims, “Psychopaths must have stimulation and are prone to boredom” (Hare). Psychopaths need to have a social life; they need be able to communicate with others. If they do not have this access, they tend to, as many sociologists believe, “burst” and resort to violence just like Mrs. Wright.
Mrs. Wright exemplifies a psychopath because she exhibits many of its characteristics. Most readers, if not all, believe that Mrs. Wright kills her husband. Some consider it an act of revenge; however, it is not. The killing is an act of a psychopath. In the beginning of the story, Hale describes Mrs. Wright as anxious “and was kind of-pleating (her apron)” (1325). When people are nervous, they usually grab on to something that they have been accustomed to for many years. In Mrs. Wright’s case, it is her apron. As stated earlier, psychopaths usually show anxiety after killing their victim and Mrs. Wright displays it as she sits on her chair.