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Trifles by Susan Glaspell

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A crime scene calls for careful consideration and attention to every detail. Making false assumptions and underestimating the importance of information can lead to a false verdict or conviction. The outdated stereotype of men's superiority over women, and the consequences of this ideology, is the theme present in the play "Trifles," by Susan Glaspell. The play features five members of the community, simultaneously investigating a crime scene, trying to expose evidence that may answer the question of who killed John Wright. The only obvious suspect in the play is Wright's wife Minnie. Throughout the play, the men present search the house, and seemingly overlook the investigating women as dim-witted and irrelevant. This notion ultimately leaves the men devoid of the evidence they need to convict Mrs. Wright. The play features many "trifles," or small details that many might overlook at first mention. These details, however, turn out to be very important, and not trifles at all. The mention of Mrs. Wright's cracked fruit contains great symbolism and parallelism to the mental state of the suspect being mentioned. Furthermore, the discovery of the strangled bird serves as not only basis for a motive for the crime, but also a look into the life and struggles of Minnie Wright. Finally, the quilt found in the house similarly provides more evidence and symbolism of the murderer. These objects, which may appear as trifles initially, are actually the basis in which to convict Minnie Wright.

Throughout the play, the audience is aware of the very cold setting. This is detrimental to life on a farm, as proven by the cracked jars of fruit. When entering the disheveled kitchen, the group of onlookers notice and comment on its unke...

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...ion, it too was incomplete. They debate whether or not she intended to quilt or knot it. The men of course find this discussion laughable, and do not proceed to investigate the importance of this find. What the men fail to realize is this trifle is not actually a trifle at all, and contains great significance. Minnie's negligence shows she had something troubling her mind toward the time Mr. Wright was murdered. Similarly the women seem to think she intended to knot it, just like the rope used to strangle Wright.

The men's disrespect and underestimation of the women characters is very consequential in the story. In Mr. Wright's case, the rough treatment of his wife, and severe stifling, lead to his demise. The other men in the story felt its affects as well, as they were unable to solve the crime without the evidence the women uncovered.
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