I Sleep Sound By Susan Glaspell

1867 Words8 Pages
“I sleep sound” (Glaspell 619). These are the words of a woman defending herself against a horrific crime. Sound: it is a word that strikes us as something that might keep us up at night. In the correct context, it obviously implies noise. People often say, “That is an annoying sound,” or, “that sound is deafening.” These are what we think of when we hear the word, sound. Susan Glaspell’s play, “Trifles,” covers a crime scene that includes one witness, Mr. Frank Hale, who quotes the only suspect in a case involving the murder of the accused’s husband. When used in the context referring to sleep, however, sound is a magical and refreshing descriptor, mostly considered to mean ‘like the dead.’ In a small town, not too far from Omaha in the…show more content…
He says that’s what he can’t understand” (Glaspell 622). The victim was strung up by a rope in an elaborate manner; but why would the only person alive on earth with knowledge of the hidden gun not use the weapon sure to properly complete the job? Next, Naysayers might claim that the dead bird, killed in the same manner as the victim, is proof enough to connect Minnie to the crime. This simply is not true. Minnie’s pet bird, which she loves, is obviously a symbol of who Minnie was many years ago. She was forced to stop singing, and to stop just being who she was, by her late husband, John. During her talk with Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Hale compares Minnie to the bird and informs Glaspell’s audience of the alleged dark history of the Wrights: “Wright wouldn’t like the bird – a thing that sang. [Minnie] used to sing. He killed that, too” (Glaspell 625). Mrs. Hale undoubtedly knows, or at least surmises, of dark and vile things John did to emotionally batter his wife, Minnie. The important point to take away from the bird, though, is not read in this quote. It is contained between the lines. The bird was found in an ornamental box presumed to be its coffin. Immediately following this discovery, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters form their own conclusions: “[L]ook at it! Its neck! Look at its neck! It’s all – other side to,” states Mrs. Peters (Glaspell 624). Despite the two gossiping ladies drawing their own conclusions, the bird cannot be used against Minnie in a
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