Trifles: Woman and Mrs. Wright

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Question 3, (p. 1135): What are the “trifles” that the men ignore and the two women notice? Why do the men dismiss them, and why do the women see these things as significant clues? What is the thematic importance of these “trifles”? The narrator sets the scene; the cold kitchen of the farmhouse the day after John Wright was found murdered in his own bed with a rope around his neck. Nothing has been touched except a fire has been started on the stove to warm the place a bit for when the sheriff and the county attorney would arrive to access the situation and look for a motive. Mrs. Wright who had been found the morning before just rocking back and forth in the kitchen rocker and pleating her apron that lay on her lap, over and over again out of shear nervousness, had already been taken to lock up in town for further questioning. Mr. Hale, the Wright’s neighbor met the sheriff and the county attorney there, because he was the one who discovered the body. He brought along his wife; Mrs. Hale, to keep the sheriff’s wife Mrs. Peters company while the men searched for evidence and a motive. Mr. Hale made mention that he and Harry had just stopped by the day before to see if Mr. Wright wanted to join in with them on a party phone. Harry wondered how Mrs. Wright would feel about the phone, and Hale explained that her opinion was insignificant as far as Mr. Wright was concerned. So right there the narrator was letting us know just how little Mr. Wright valued his wife. Mrs. Hale explained that back when she was Minnie Foster she use used to wear pretty clothes, was a lively up-town girl and sang in the choir. She felt that Mr. Wright killed all that. Everyone enters the kitchen now, and the first thing the county attorney notices is how un-kept the house is, and states that the home was not very cheery. Mrs. Hale declares: “I don’t think a placed be any cheer-fuller for John Wright’s being in it.” The attorney of course looking for motive then tries

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