Dr. Lynn Summer
Summary of Trifles
Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a play written in the early nineteen hundreds. What happens is a farmer by the name John Wright is murdered and the culprit is thought to be Minnie Wright, John’s wife. This play takes place in the kitchen of John Wright’s abandoned farmhouse. This case is investigated by three men: the sheriff of the town Henry Peters, the county attorney George Henderson, and a neighboring farmer Lewis Hale. The wives of Mr. Hale and Mr. Peters go along with the men to the crime scene. The Men take a more traditional route to solving the murder by looking for evidence throughout the house, while the women stay in the kitchen and draw their conclusions from “the everyday details of a farm women’s kitchen” (915 prologue).
Even though the men take the more logical route in solving crimes, it is the women who uncover what happened by looking at the mishaps in the kitchen. Some of the mishaps are the ruined fruit preserves, the unfinished quilt, and the empty bird cage. The bird cage is a significant piece of evidence in the play because of the condition it was left in. The door hinge was broken, and the bird was nowhere to be found. Eventually, the women find the bird in a box in Mrs. Wright’s sewing basket (1.1.110-115). The condition in which the bird was left was similar to how John Wright died. John was hung by his wife, while the bird died from getting its neck wrung by Mr. Wright (1.1.115). This was the main factor in determining that Mrs. Wright killed her husband. Even though this piece of evidence was crucial in the case, Mrs. Hale did not give it to the men, but hid it from them so that Minnie could live her old life again. Trifles is an example of a Modern Realistic Drama and a Problem play. A Modern Realistic Drama is a type of Drama that wants to paint the picture of how life is experienced by the common man and woman. These types of...
Bibliography: Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing.
Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 5th compact ed. New York: Pearson
Longman, 2012. 915-926. Print.
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