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Susan Glaspells Trifles - Book Report/Review Example

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Therefore the burden of a fair and just trial falls upon the shoulders of just two women. In Susan Glaspells' 1916 short play, "Trifles," it is up to Mrs. Hale, a farmer's wife, and Mrs. Peters, a Sheriff's wife, to weigh all the evidence they can gather, and then justifiably help to cover-up the strangling death of Mr. John Wright.
Indeed the men in the play give zero consideration to any of the women's opinions on the murder, their wives included. As far as the men are concerned nothing the two women could do would have too much bearing on the case. "Women are used to worrying over trifles," (Glaspell 02), says Mrs. Hale's husband. Women are only worried about how their house looks, how their preserves are keeping on the shelf, and "whether to quilt it or knot it," (Wells 04) when it comes to sewing blankets. The young attorney Mr. Henderson isn't worried because as far as he can see Mrs. Peter's is "married to the law," (Wells 06), and is a non factor in this case. She can't do much harm by bringing in a few women's things to the accused Mrs. Wright. The three men have already passed their judgment on the accused woman and are only looking for the final piece of the puzzle, the last nail in the coffin of Mrs. Wright. Twice the attorney is close to finding some solid evidence out about the relationship between the accused woman and her husband, asking Mrs. ...
Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peters on the other hand are drowning in evidence. Mrs. Hale knew the accused before she became Mrs. Wright, when she "was lively, and used to wear pretty clothes and be Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir," (Glaspell 03). She witnessed first hand how Minnie Driver used to sing real pretty herself, but once she married John Wright he put an end to that singing, and to her liveliness. Mrs. Hale admits to "liken her well enough," (Glaspell 02), and yet not wanting to come around and see Mrs. Wright because the vibe John Wright gave off was such a cold and dreary one, "Like a raw wind that gets to the bone," (Glaspell 05). Both women recognize that Mrs. Wright must have been awful lonely in the house by herself everyday for thirty years, no children to keep her company and her husband away all day at work. The stillness she felt every day must have been excruciating. Mrs. Peters empathizes for the accused Mrs. Wright, recalling her own bout with serious depression and loneliness, "I know what stillness is. When we homesteaded in Dakota, and my first baby died--after he was two years old, and me with no other then-," (Glaspell 08). Both women find they are strongly connected to Mrs. Wright through shared experiences, and when they stumble on a mangled cage, both can see how having a bird in the house might help Mrs. Wright break the unending silence of her farm life. Both women understand how a canary's singing might brighten up the darker corners of her empty house: how it might be something that breathes a bit of life back into the woman formerly known as Minnie Foster. This is also ...Show more


At a time in American history when a woman was judged solely on how clean she kept a man's house and how many healthy children she bore that man, it would be impossible for a poor Farmer's wife with no children and a filthy house to draw any support as a sympathetic figure…
Author : amyschaden
Susan Glaspells Trifles
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