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Right or Wrong?

(...Mrs. Hale snatches the box and puts it in the pocket of her big coat. Enter County Attorney and Sheriff.)

COUNTY 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.

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

It is ironic that the two women, who are both unconcerned about the investigation, are the ones that find evidence that could potentially point to the motive. Though it is never stated that John Wright was the one that killed the bird (the bird that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale put in the box--the same box that Mrs. Hale hides in her pocket), it is implied that he did. This would provide a motive for Mrs. Wright's murder of her husband. Though Mrs Hale's intentions may be good (she wants to protect Mrs. Wright, it would seem), it doesn't make it right to hide the evidence.

One thing I find interesting, which I didn't realize until I wrote the name out, is the name Wright. I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but I noticed that the name indicates both right and wrong. The word "right" is included directly in the name, and the first two letters are "wr." I guess that this is just something to think about.

In answer to the question Mr. Jerz posted in his comment on my blog entry for Foster chapters 19 & 20: yes, I do think that the rural setting had an impact on the action of this play. If this play took place in a city, it would probably have been faster paced. Also, I'm betting that the two women would not have been allowed at the scene of the crime, since they are not part of the investigation. This might actually be more of a time period difference, though.


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Comments (3)

Chera Pupi:

I also thought that the name "Wright" had a deeper meaning, but I didn't think of it as right and wrong, as you did (which is a very good observation by the way). I kind of thought of it as rights--like John has taken all of Minnie's rights from her (to sing, to socialize with others, to have a bird to alleviate some of the loneliness,etc). He makes sure that he has her on a TIGHT ROPE (get it? haha).

I find it ironic too that Mr. (W)Right is anything but for Minnie. Although I'm not sure if the phrase "Mr. Right" existed back in 1916. Maybe it did. The name is certainly ironic anyway, because nothing any of the characters says Mr. Wright did could be considered "right" or moral.

Mike Poiarkoff:

I also find it strange that
we had a Mrs. Peters amd a Mrs. Hale. You see, "Peters" is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Peter." The given name Peter is derived from the Greek "petros" meaning "stone." This is very interestering considering many stones are gray, which is also the color of sunflower seeds, which is often times one of the main ingredients in what? You guessed it. BIRDSEED. I feel that perhaps Mrs. Peters was destined to find the dead bird and make the assumption that it was the motive behind Mrs. Wrights alleged killing of her husband.
We also see the name "Hale", which by definition, is "Strong or Healthy." I find this very interesting when I take into account the situation of Mr. Wright being dead, which is in fact, the exact opposite of "strong and healthy."
Is this all just a coincidence? Or did or author know EXACTLY what she was writing???

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