October 19, 2009
Critical Essay of Trifles
Susan Glaspell was born on July 1, 1882 in Davenport, Iowa. She began her career as am author of short stories of popular magazines such as the Des Moines Daily. She cofounded Provincetown Players, a group who worked with experimental drama. Glaspell can best be described as a director, feminist, author, and actress. Glaspell died in 1948 (“Biography” 1).
Trifles is based on a true story.
…”On a cold December night, in an Iowa farmhouse, John Hossack was sleeping
in his bed when someone struck him in the head with an axe. His wife, Margaret,
claimed she was awakened by the noise of blows, which sounded like one block
of wood striking one another, but evidence suggested she was the murderer. Her
motive, according to the authorities, was unhappiness within a bad marriage”
Trifles 1). It took Glaspell two weeks to the write the play, and it was performed on August 5, 1916.
The characters in the play are the sheriff, the county attorney, Hale, Mrs. Peters, who is the sheriff’s wife, and Mrs. Hale. The sheriff and the county attorney are there to investigate, while the women, who belong to the Ladies’ Aid, are there to gather some of Mrs. Wright’s belongings for her because she is being held for the murder of her husband. The setting takes place at the abandoned farmhouse of the Wright family. It is very gloomy, dark, cold, and lonely (Glaspell 1046).
It is never made clear if Mrs. Wright killed her husband or not. Perhaps she suffered from a mental break down from the treatment of her husband. She is described as being sweet, pretty, timid, and fluttery. It would take a lot for someone of this description to commit murder (Glaspell 1053).
Throughout the play, Mrs. Hale stands beside Mrs. Wright even though it seemed like everyone would rather lock her up and throw away the key. Mrs. Peters has mixed feelings about the situation. In my opinion,...
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