Susan Glaspell’s one-act play Trifles is based on the murder investigation of John Wright. Minnie Wright’s isolation and the death of her canary are the major factors that led to the murder of her husband. Glaspell stresses the perceived supremacy of males when investigating the murder by giving the men lead roles in the investigation and by making fun of the “trifles” that the women are choosing to observe. It is ironic because the ordinary items observed by the women were thought of as “trifles” to the men, but these items would have actually have aided in solving the murder case. Glaspell uses various forms of irony and symbolism to emphasize the dominance of men, Minnie Wright’s state of isolation, and many other key aspects of the murder in her play Trifles.
Trifles is a contemporary drama by Susan Glaspell. The drama is about a murder that has been committed and the wives of the sheriff and farmer, who are named Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale. While the men are searching the house, the women are in the kitchen looking at what Mrs. Wright has been doing and eventually find out who killed John Wright. The men are looking at the women like they are crazy and don’t take the women seriously. Symbolism plays an important part in this story, especially concerning gender roles. In Trifles, many symbols represent the negative attitude that men have toward women during this age, such as the dirty towels, the birdcage, and the dead bird.
The 1916 play Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a one act murder-mystery that showcases a range of characters that help to portray the undervaluing of women, their work, and their interests in society. The main plot revolves around farmer Lewis Hale, his wife, Sheriff Henry Peters, his wife, and county attorney George Henderson trying to figure out who could have strangled farmer John Wright in his bed and, more importantly, why. The true culprit is clear from the moment Hale begins to recount what occured the previous day. “...I opened the door--this door and there in that rocker--sat Mrs. Wright” (940). It isn’t until near the end, however, that Mrs. Wright’s motive is revealed. It is evident that Mrs. Wright did not enjoy her life with Mr.
In Trifles, the differences in evidence that the men and woman notice, led men to failure in the investigation of Mr. Wright’s death, because men and women shared different perspectives in the same setting. Hence, even though all the items in the home of the Wright family, held significance and meaning to the death of Mr. Wright, the male characters dismissed these elements as they were more interested in forensic evidence. Whereas the women, on the contrary, caught on to these clues and recognized the relevance, as it revealed the bleakness of Mrs. Wright’s life. The quilt, kitchen and canary/cage are just a few of the many symbols in the play that the men treated as mere trifles which the women weighed important.
In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles, Mrs. Wright plays a dramatic roll as a wife in a conflicted marriage. After the murder of Mr. Wright, Henry Wright the towns sheriff ,George Henderson the county attorney, and Mr. Hale a neighboring farmer gather at the house with Mrs.Peters, the sheriffs wife and Mrs. Hale. The guys are looking for evidence while the ladies are looking deeper into Mrs. Wright’s life. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find that Mrs. Wright is caged and trapped , Mr. Wright has taken the life out of Mrs. Wright, and the Wright’s marriage is very conflicted. Mrs. Wright is a woman who loved life and was happy until Mr. Wright ruined it all.
The play examines the relationships between husbands and wives and reflects stereotypes of gender, particularly a marriage that ended in murder. The setting, a messy kitchen, reflects to me that the women stand together, emphasizing both the way they have been pushed together by their male-dominated society but also, possibly, their loyalty to each other over their husbands, a topic explored in the play. The men repeatedly dismiss things as beneath their notice if they are things such as the canning jars of fruit that are, in their opinions, women’s concerns. The men never recognize that they have forced the women to be concerned about these things, by not allowing them to be concerned about anything else. The men’s dismissal reflects a larger mindset of devaluing women and their opinions and interests in general.
In today's society, we generally view upon everyone as equal beings who deserve equal rights. At the turn of the 20th century, this particular view didn?t exist. Men clearly dominated almost every aspect of life and women were often left with little importance. The Wright?s embody this view of roles in Susan Glaspell?s play Trifles. Mrs. Wright was a typical woman who suffered the mental abuse from her husband and was caged from life. In Trifles, a mixture of symbolism of oppression illustrates Mrs. Minnie Wright?s motives to kill her husband and to escape from imprisonment.
A friend can be a remarkable thing. Unfortunately, many lack the powerful bonds that all humans need to survive and lead healthy, happy lives. In Susan Glaspell's play Trifles, Mrs. Wright is starved of the human interaction and relationships she so desperately needs. Consequently, she is never rescued from her loneliness, is brought to the point where she cannot handle any more of life's saddening struggles, and kills her husband in his sleep. Through powerful and often ironic symbolism, such as Mrs. Wright's kitchen, the names of the characters, and the bird, Susan Glaspell clearly displays the power of human relationships and how truly devastating a
Trifles, Susan Glaspell’s play written in 1916, reveal concerns of women living in a male dominated society. Glaspell communicates the role that women were expected to play in late 19th century society and the harm that can come of it to women, as well as men. The feminist agenda of Trifles was made obvious, in order to portray the lives of all women who live oppressed under male domination. John and Minnie Wright are two main characters who are never seen; however provide the incident for the play. In this play women are against men, Minnie against her husband, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters against their husband’s, as well as men in general.
Susan Glaspell’s Trifles is a play about the effect of gender differences on perceptions of duty, law, and justice. The early 1900’s is the setting, arriving at the Wright farmhouse on a crisp, cold morning. Mr. Hale, a neighbor, found John Wright murdered the morning before. Hale has brought his wife, the county attorney, the sheriff and his wife to the home so the men can investigate Wright’s death. With Mrs. Wright as the primary suspect, Henderson, the county attorney, is looking for her motive. While the sheriff and the county attorney are busy looking at the mess left in the kitchen, the women are noticing some of the smaller things, the "trifles" according to Mr. Hale. The men go upstairs, and that is when Mrs. Hale
Susan Glaspell’s one-act play, Trifles, weaves a tale of an intriguing murder investigation to determine who did it. Mrs. Wright is suspected of strangling her husband to death. During the investigation the sheriff and squad of detectives are clueless and unable to find any evidence or motive to directly tie Mrs. Wright to the murder. They are baffled as to how he was strangled by a rope while they were supposedly asleep side by side. Glaspell artfully explores gender differences between men and women and the roles they each fulfill in society by focusing on their physicality, their methods of communication and vital to the plot of the play, their powers of observation. In simple terms, the play suggests that men tend to be assertive,
The one act play “Trifles” depicts the views and passions of both men and women during the late-nineteenth century regarding the role of a woman. The characters in the play are the County Attorney, the Sheriff, and Mr. Hale, who are accompanied by Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters into the Wright’s home to investigate the murder of Mr. Wright. The men feel that the women are only concerning themselves with little things and make several condescending comments throughout the play displaying their views. While the men search for clues upstairs and in the outside barn yard, it is the women who cleverly piece together several clues leading to Mrs. Wright’s guilt in the murder mystery. But, because of the
When investigating throughout the house, the men laugh about things that the women become concerned about such as Mrs. Wright’s fruit jars (Glaspell 264). Mrs. Hale’s husband states that “women are used to worrying over trifles,” referring to things that the women tend to find important (264). However, the half wiped table, half poured sugar, and the dirty pans (Alkalay-Gut 3) are clues to the investigation unseen by the men due to their inability to interpret things beyond “what they consider to be significant information” (4). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Wright conclude that Mrs. Wright was forced “out of the pattern of her chores” (3). Later, the women find motive for John Wright’s murder when they discover the strangled bird that indicates to Mrs. Hale that Mrs. Wright found herself as a caged bird being strangled by her husband (6). The ladies then transfer their roles from “being married to the law” and following their spouses to sympathetic
Abandoned places are always ready to tell a story, even the newly deserted ones. In Susan Glaspell’s play “Trifles,” the setting is the still, recently abandoned kitchen of a recently dead Mr. Wright. The story focuses on the sheriff’s and witness’s wives and their slow realization of who killed Mr. Wright and why. These realizations could not have happened if the wives were anywhere other than where they were. The time period, the kitchen itself, and the cheerlessness of the house all assist in unraveling the story of a house to be left behind.
“Trifles” a play by Susan Glaspell, emphasizes the thought that women were kept in their homes and their contributions to the home and family went unappreciated and unnoticed. The play gives readers a view of how women were view and treated during the 1900’s. As a female analyzing the play, Mrs. Wright’s motive for killing Mr. Wright was quite clear. Susan Glaspell gives her readers a feminist approach, to demonstrate how Mrs. Wright’s murdering of her husband is justified.