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January 26, 2007

GO Mrs. Hale!!

Glaspell, ''Trifles'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

COUNT ATTORNEY [Facetiously]: Well, Henry, at least we found out that she was not going to quilt it. She was going to--what is it you call it, ladies?

MRS HALE [Her hand against her pocket.] We call it--knot it, Mr. Henderson.

This is the 2nd time I have read this play, and this time, I picked up on a few little symbolic meanings that I hadn't previously thought of. I LOVE Mrs. Hale in this play. I think it's awesome that she's not passive and submissive like Mrs. Peters. She is a strong female character--which I always enjoy. All throughout the play I just wanted to punch the County Attorney in the face. Not only was he rude and insulting to every woman in this play, but he also insults their intelligence thinking that they aren't even bright enough to pick up on the fact that he's making fun of them. So I think it's hilarious that the WOMEN were the ones who found the clues, found the bird, and as a result, found the motive. Glaspell ended this play with perfect irony--Mrs. Hale saying, "Knot it.." The rope was knotted around Mr. Right's neck, and they're KNOT telling that they know why! (pun totally intended)

Posted by CheraPupi at January 26, 2007 8:25 PM


I totally failed to notice the irony when Mrs. Hale said "knot it" and the implication behind that. The knotting of the knot around Mr. Wrights neck and the quilt. I also agree that women were being portrayed as kinda of slow and somewhat dim-witted, but I also love how Glaspell took that image of woman that people had and flipped it on them by saying look at how smart and capable these woman are at piecing together clues and being able to solve the mystery.

Posted by: Jara White at January 29, 2007 5:59 PM

I am so glad that I decided to read your blog. I can agree with you that Mrs. Hale is definitely the stronger woman in the play. She sticks up for women when the men put them down saying "There's a great deal of work to be done on the farm." Meanwihile, Mrs. Peters is not nearly as strong or independent as she apologizes for the men's condescending attitude, stating, "Of course, it's no more than their duty." Mrs. Hale can be considered the heroine of the play as, although both she and Mrs. Peters solve the mystery together, in the end it is she who successfully hides the bird from the men.

Posted by: Ellen Einsporn at January 28, 2007 6:40 PM

Haha, well I'm glad that you guys get it now! I agree Bethany, it IS nice to read about some strong female characters!

Posted by: Chera Pupi at January 28, 2007 5:35 PM

That's a really interesting analysis. I didn't quite catch the full meaning of the last line, but I get it now. I also enjoyed the fact that the women were the ones to discover the clues to the murder, and I thought the men in this play were stupid pigs.

Posted by: Bethany Bouchard at January 28, 2007 3:39 PM

I totally agree with you Chera. It was awesome to see Mrs. Hale take a stand as a female character and it was very interesting how they used the word knot in the story. After all those weak women we read about in Popular Fiction last semester, I was happy to see Mrs. Hale taking charge and standing up for what she thought was right.

Posted by: BethanyMerryman at January 28, 2007 3:33 PM

I agree very much. I think that the women are portrayed as not knowing a lot. Since, it is during the early 1900's, most women are thought of being house maids and taking care of the children. But, when you think about it, women did know a lot and had a lot to say. I also agree that since it was my first time for reading the play, I did not understand everything, exactly. I do understand about the pun that was intended within the play. That was a great example to post because I never thought of it that way. Overall, the women did know a lot of information -the clues and the bird - but the detectives (the men) never really paid attention to the women.

Posted by: Derek Tickle at January 28, 2007 12:34 PM

WOW! I really did not understand this play at all! After reading your blog, I clearly know what the bird is for, and why it was mentioned. Thank You for clearing that up!

Posted by: Corinn Lauer at January 27, 2007 12:26 PM

I agree. I think Glaspell's really giving men a hard time in this play. They view women as only caring about superficial, unimportant things, but in the end they are the ones who don't notice the TRULY important things. The play was performed in 1916, when women's suffrage was picking up steam, and I think Glaspell really wanted to put the message out there that women have important contributions to give to society. I just wish that she'd made the male characters a little more complex, though.

Posted by: Matthew Henderson at January 26, 2007 8:42 PM

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