Susan Glaspell 's Trifles, The Sheriff, Henry And The County Attorney Essay

Susan Glaspell 's Trifles, The Sheriff, Henry And The County Attorney Essay

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In Susan Glaspell 's "Trifles," the sheriff, Henry Peters, and the county attorney, George Henderson, arrive with the witnesses, Lewis Hale, Mrs. Peters, and Mrs. Hale at John Wright 's farmhouse, where the police are investigating Wright 's murder. While the men are investigating upstairs, the women discover a quilt and decide to bring it with them, although the men tease them for pondering about the "trifles" such as the quilt. The women discover an empty birdcage and eventually find the dead canary in a box in Mrs. Wright 's sewing basket while they are searching for materials for the quilt. The canary has been strangled in the same manner as John Wright. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale decide to hide the evidence, and the men are unable to find anything that could break the murder of John Wright – no evidence that will prevent Mrs. Wright from being acquitted by a future jury. Glaspell 's continued focus on the specificities and stereotypes of gender roles throughout the play are very similar to those today, almost 100 years later. Because the men refuse to think of the women as capable human beings, they are unaware to the fact that the women have solved the murder of Mr. Wright through rummaging through the kitchen and small talk.
All of the evidence that the women find is minute, but those tiny details are what solved the murder. “Trifles,” which is defined as "something that does not have much value or importance" (Mariam-Webster), is “a deceptive play: deceptive because, like its title, it seems simple, almost inconsequential” (Holstein). The play is one act, an example of its brevity, but its details are much deeper and intricate, much like a trifle itself. The very little, unimportant pieces become the most powerful ...


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... able to see past his prejudice and discover the truth.
“Trifles” is the story of two groups of people, men and women, and their conventional and expected behaviors in the society of that time period. Through their own expected behaviors, like small talk and probing through the kitchen, the women are able to obtain a goal that the men try to obtain without any success. Furthermore, the women do it with ease, never leaving their initial spot in the home, and solve the mystery of the murder merely by noticing the tiny details in the kitchen that didn’t seem right. This shows that women are perfectly capable completely a man’s job effectively. “Trifles” will always be remembered as a work that challenged the conventionalities of fundamental society because it is a story of how women were able to solve a murder, which is a man’s job, and they did so quite effortlessly.

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