Protagonist in Trifles

Topics: Susan Glaspell, Antagonist, Marriage Pages: 3 (1005 words) Published: May 15, 2013
The controversial question that ambles, then gains every readers eye and eventually turns into a debate when reading Susan Glaspell’s one act play, Trifles, is who is the protagonist? There are seven characters in Trifles and only one of them is the protagonist. One might argue that Mrs. Peters or Mrs. Hale is the protagonist because of the disclosure of their feelings and their constant dialogue about Mr. Wright, who is dead, and Mrs. Wright, who is now in jail for murdering her husband. No, there is not enough profound and sound evidence to support that argument; however, the evidence that supports Mrs. Wright as the protagonist is overwhelming. Mrs. Wright is clearly the protagonist when identifying the antagonist(s), observing the transformation of Minnie Foster to Mrs. Wright, and by realizing what the sympathies from Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters for Mrs. Wright actually mean.

When investigating the antagonist, or antagonists, it is clear that there are many possibilities. Susan Glaspell has strong feminist ideals; furthermore, the effects of these ideals are lucid in Trifles. Several times the men are outstandingly against the women. This conflict provides support for a conflict between a man and a woman and assists in narrowing the possibilities of who the protagonist actually is. Early on in the dialogue, the County Attorney starts by singling out Mrs. Wright by criticizing her housekeeping abilities by calling out, “Dirty towels! Not much of a house keeper would you say ladies?” (Glaspell 141). Mr. Henderson again criticizes Mrs. Wright’s abilities when he says she does not have homemaking instincts (Glaspell 141). Mrs. Hale provides the reader with more evidence of a male-antagonist versus female-protagonist conflict when she says, “You know, it seems kind of sneaking. Locking her up in town and then coming out here and trying to get her own house to turn against her” (Glaspell 142). In this quotation Mrs. Hale is not happy with the fact that the men...
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