I know this feeling of regret

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"MRS. HALE ... Oh, I wish I'd come over here once in a while! That was a crime! That was a crime! Who's going to punish that?

MRS. Peters (looking upstairs). We mustn't--take on.

MRS. HALE. I might have known she needed help! I know how things can be--for women. I tell you, it's queer, Mrs. Peters. We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things--it's all just a different kind of the same thing." (Trifles)

Have you ever heard the saying hind-sight is 20/20? It's true. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters begin discussing the Wright household, how it wasn't "cheerful," and how Mr. Wright was the cause of all the unhappiness, possibly even strangling a pet canary Minnie had. Mrs. Peters related to the "stillness" that Mr. Wright brought on the household, and Mrs. Hale felt the pain of losing a beloved pet and how she wanted to hurt the boy that did it. They both realize how much they could relate to Minnie and her suffering.

Mrs. Hale's lines, "We live close together and we live far apart," and, "We all go through the same things--it's all just a different kind of the same thing," admit this realization.


http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL150/2008/glaspell_trifles.php

8 Comments

Erica Gearhart said:

I've actually never heard that saying before, but it is very true. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters really can identify with Mrs. Wright's actions, and they regret their past blindness toward the situation. I do not think that their assessment of the situation was correct because no one should hide such important evidence, but I do like how the author chose to make them into three dimensional characters with ideas and personalities of their own.

Erica Gearhart said:

I've actually never heard that saying before, but it is very true. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters really can identify with Mrs. Wright's actions, and they regret their past blindness toward the situation. I do not think that their assessment of the situation was correct because no one should hide such important evidence, but I do like how the author chose to make them into three dimensional characters with ideas and personalities of their own.

Greta Carroll said:

The line, “We live close together and we live far apart,” really resonates with me. How many people do we pass daily or we see in the dorm and yet know nothing about them? It is easy for us to get wrapped up in our lives and not see what is going on around us. Or, in some cases, we choose to be blind. I am just as guilty of this, as many other people probably are. I think part of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters identification with Mrs. Wright makes them see, all the more, how if they had been in her situation the joy they might have felt if someone else came and visited and brought cheer to them. Their hindsight is our lesson. I think Glaspell wants us to realize that not doing anything sometimes does not absolve us of responsibility.

Katie Vann said:

Your comment is similar to mine. I also noticed that Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters related easily to Minnie Foster (although they made the connections after it was too late). I belive that they each felt guilty about what had happened because they both had opportunities to prevent it. Especially Mrs. Hale who lived next door to Minnie and had some knowledge of what the situation was like inside the Wright house. This story can show what can happen when we choose to ignore what is obviously wrong just because it may not affect our lives directly. Some may think the story is an exaggerated dramatic example of the consequence of ignoring others who need help, but I don't see it as being so exaggerated. In fact, I think many of us could relate this to many situations that occur in the world around us. I'm such everyone could easily recall a story they read in a news paper or saw on TV that told of a tragedy that occured because some one ignored another in need.

I see you got the comment thing fixed.
I like how you put this. Its a very good point. The kind of we're close together but still far apart is something I've actually been dealing with coming to this school.(I'll elaborate if you really need me too, haha)

Ally Hall said:

I haven't heard that saying, but I definitely agree with it. It's easy to see the things you missed or forgot to do, or wish you had done after something goes wrong. It reminds me a lot of when you hear about all these school shootings, and you hear some people say that they wish they had taken the time to get to know whoever was the shooter, or wish that they maybe hadn't been so cold to them. There's so much that you can think of that you missed once something goes terribly wrong, but you can't beat yourself up over that - it'll drive you crazy.

"We live close together and we live far apart" was the other quote that I was actually going to expand upon in my entry. It is just so true. There are people that I live close to that I barely know anything about. People just aren't as neighborly anymore but when they are, they just put on a happy face to talk to you and then they go back into their house. It is common sense that not everybody is happy all the time, but when you do not talk to people that often, you tend to act happy when you are around them just for the sake of not having to explain every negative detail of your life.

Anytime something bad happens to somebody we are close, we always feel somewhat responsible--like there was something that we could have done to prevent it from happening. It is not realistic to think in that way (Mrs. Hale most likely could not have changed Mr. Wright's cold personality or stopped Mrs. Wright from murdering him.) but it is human to feel guilt for the ones you care about. Mrs. Hale probably just wishes she could have done something to make Mrs. Wright's life a bit better.

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