Irony in "Trifles"

Topics: Frank Lloyd Wright, Anxiety, Wife Pages: 2 (744 words) Published: September 21, 2010
Irony in “Trifles”
The death of a man named John Wright begins the adventure to solving his murder. He was found hanged in his house; while his wife, Mrs. Wright, is questioned by the police she does not seem to be bothered by her husband’s death. As stated by Mr. Hale when speaking to Mrs. Wright, “I want to see John. And then she-laughed” (Glaspell 1048). In Glaspell’s play “Trifles” the two women, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, find many trifles through-out the house that the men consider to be unimportant, but ironically, help the two women solve the murder of Mr. John Wright.

When the play begins, the Sheriff and County Attorney speak to Mr. Hale about his findings of the body. He states he tried talking to Mr. Wright about a party telephone, but he answered, “Folks talk too much anyway” (Glaspell 1047). This is a preview of Mr. Wright’s character. Though he is not seen in the play, the little clues that the women find help show the character of Mr. Wright and his actions towards his wife. In the play “Trifles” the lack of a telephone is a factor of Mrs. Wright’s environment that isolates her from everyone.

At the beginning the play establishes that Mrs. Wright’s kitchen is full of, what the men consider to be, just “trifles” that they cannot interpret or comprehend; but the women are able to understand and learn the meaning. The two women find many trifles within the house that the men seem to overlook. An example would be the broken preserves in the cabinet and the dirty roller towel. These two items demonstrate that Mrs. Wright was not concerned with keeping a clean house. When the men complain of her not keeping any updates on her farm and house, Mrs. Hale is quickly able to correct him by explaining, “There’s a great deal of work to be done on a farm” (Glaspell 1049).

The men are constantly moving from one room to another, trying to find evidence that would give motive to Mrs. Wright for killing her husband. The men choose to ignore the...
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