Trifles Summary

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Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a one-act play that was initially preformed in 1916. It is loosely based upon a murder case Glaspell reported on when she worked as a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News, in which a male, John Hossack, was killed and the primary suspect was his better half. Margaret Hossack argued that an intruder entered your home and murdered john with an axe; she was originally founded guilty for the murder, but the decision was reversed on a later appeal. The plot of Trifles unfolds in much the same way, focusing on the look for clues to the murder of a local farmer Mr. Wright.

The play opens on all five of its speaking characters entering the kitchen area of the Wright house. The county attorney, a Mr. George Henderson, is in charge of an examination into the events surrounding the discovery of John Wright’s body. On the scene with him are the county constable and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Peters, and the next-door neighbors of the Wrights, Mr. and Mrs. Hale. The lawyer prompts Mr. Hale into his story of getting in the Wright home in order to see if John would have an interest in splitting the expense of a phone line. He says that inside your house he just found Mrs. Minnie Wright, sitting alone in a rocking chair, which when he asked to speak to John she told him that he could not because Wright was dead. Upon investigating the house Mr. Hale does indeed discover Wright’s dead body hanging in an upstairs bedroom. Following this short run-through of events before the action of the play, the men talk about the state of your home, specifically with regard to problems of poor housekeeping and exit upstairs to try to find hints to the murder.

For the majority of the play Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale remain alone on the first flooring of your house where they prepare some comforts to give Mrs. Wright as she waits in prison. Unlike the men, who see the chaos of the kitchen area as a failing on the part of Mrs. Wright, the ladies reveal sympathy about the state of the house, and the psychological distress Minnie should be feeling to have a group of strangers pawing through her home. This style is duplicated throughout the play, of the failure of the men to understand or sympathize with the hardships females experience, and is discussed once again as Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale talk about the dismal turn Minnie’s life had taken after she wed John Wright.

While packaging products to give Minnie the two women find the body of her pet canary concealed in a sewing box. Though it is never ever directly spoken about, the significance of this discovery is that it enhances the ramification that Minnie had been abused mentally or physically by John, and that when he had killed her family pet, Minnie had lastly killed him in almost the same way. The women conceal this discovery from the guys, who just require to discover a motive in order to found guilty Minnie of murder. When the guys exit the scene again, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters share comparable accounts of methods which they had actually suffered, and how they share some duty in Minnie’s isolation. Without discussing it outright, they choose not to share the clue to the death of John Wright with the guy, and the play ends without the male having found the hints essential to prove his better half’s guilt.

The play raises concerns about justice for women, and the function women can have in performing that justice. It is essential to the play that the males are implied to be the primary detectives of the criminal activity, but are not able to find any clues particularly because they dismiss the “trifles” of ladies’s activities and therefore try to find clues in all of the wrong locations. They show an open contempt for the inner functions of the home, and fail to even think about the kitchen area or sewing box as products of interest of the examination, and it is for that reason likely they would not acknowledge Minnie as the true victim of domestic abuse.

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