Essay on Action, Props, Costumes, and Visual Elements in Trifles

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Action, Props, Costumes, and Visual Elements in Trifles Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles, shows the importance of staging, gestures, and props to create the proper atmosphere of a play. Without the development of the proper atmosphere through directions from the author, the whole point of the play may be missed. Words definitely do not tell the whole story in Trifles - the dialog only complements the unspoken. Susan Glaspell tells us her vision of the Wright's kitchen, where the action of her play "Trifles" takes place, through stage directions. She paints a gloomy picture of this center of activity. The kitchen is described as being in disorder with unwashed pans under the sink, a dish towel left on the table, a loaf of bread…show more content…
Behind the men in a subservient position are two ladies. One is Mrs. Hale, the neighbor's wife who is large and "comfortable looking" and Mrs. Peters, the Sheriff's wife, who is "thin and wiry with a thin, nervous face". Mrs. Peters enters ahead of Mrs. Hale, but both women hang back near the door, while the men go directly to the stove and make a show of warming themselves. In these scene directions, Mrs. Glaspell has already made the reader see a cheerless place to live, cold weather and a culture of women in the background. The men get the first warmth of the stove without inviting the unimportant ladies to enjoy its warmth. They roam around looking at everything, but miss important clues. Meanwhile, the ladies observe the small everyday things in the room. By stage directions the audience can tell the women in the kitchen are getting more united. After the Sheriff and County Attorney make fun of Mrs. Wright worrying about her fruit being broken by the house being cold, we are told the ladies draw closer together. The atmosphere is getting to be ladies against men. When the men leave the kitchen the ladies then feel free to look around. They gently handle the unbroken fruit knowing how much work it involved. The empty rocking chair strikes a nerve in them that the owner is gone from her somber kitchen. The women set about their duties of gathering up clothes for Mrs. Wright in a businesslike way. Mrs. Peters and Mrs.

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