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13, 2006

Paper #1


Melissa Lupari
English Literature II
March 14, 2006
Seton Hill University

Trifles 1
Melissa Lupari
Dr. Jerz
English Literature II
14 March 2006

Trifles: True Crime To Cover For Love

In Susan Glaspell’s one act play the Trifles, we are focusing on evidence trying to find whom to pin the murder to Mr. Wright’s killer. Believing that Mrs. Wright could be the possible victim of Mr. Wright killing in Trifles, we have no real given evidence that it was her. Until they found a piece of quilt that Mrs. Wright had been working on. “It’s a log cabin pattern. Pretty isn’t it? Wonder if she was goin’ to quilt it or just knot it” (396). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter are trying to figure out what has just happen to their friend did she really kill her husband? Was she capable of doing such a god afoul thing?
Mrs. Wright loved to sing and quilt, that was her love besides her canary. Mr. Wright never gave Mrs. Wright any children to rise because he was not interested in having any at the time and he said, ‘No’ (393), it was either his way or no way. Mr. Wright seemed like he controlled what Mrs. Wright could and could not do. Mrs. Wright never seemed to talk to her neighbors much; she basically alienated herself from others due to her unhappiness. Nobody ever saw much of her; they began to think that she was getting depressed because all she would do is stay inside in her rocking chair and quilt. Her house was a mess because it finally set in that she was in the middle of doing
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everything when the “shock” of her husband’s death set in.
Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters went into the home to get Mrs. Wright some clothes because she did not have the time to grab any clothes. As they were searching for clothes in the cupboard they found a birdcage all broken and wondered were the canary was and what happened “I think she would a wanted a bird” (398). She loved to sing just as a bird would, “She was a kind of bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and-fluttery” (398). Mrs. Hale finds her sewing box thinking that her scissors might be in there, but instead the find something wrapped in a piece of silk, “It’s a bird” (398). The women started thinking that if Mrs. Wright killed the canary she could have sure killed her husband, but she was never that kind of a person. “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir” (396). Little did they know that Mrs. Wright was verbally abused by Mr. Wright and he hated noise and children that is why they never had children. Mrs. Wright also lost interest in going to church and singing in the choir, “I wish you’d seen Minnie Foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbon and stood up there in the choir and sang” (399). She was perfect it seemed till she settled down with Mr. Wright.
When Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter are starting putting two and two together they thought that Mrs. Wright probably killed her husband because of the way he treated her and he took everything that meant something to her from her believing that Mr. Wright killed her canary because he hated sound in the first place and the bird would always sing. “I wonder how it seemed to not have any children around. No, Wright wouldn’t

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like the bird - a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too” (399). To Mrs. Wright, that was like her child to her since she was never given the opportunity to have any. So she hid the canary in a box with a piece of silk because she wanted to bury it the right way. Mrs. Wright was sick of the life that she had with Mr. Wright and took his life even though she is not a cold person. But never admitting to committing the crime, she never put up a fight either.
Supposing that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale understand what might have happened while Mr. Wright was living in the house; they saw things that other neighbors did not. For one Mrs. Wright was always a friendly person and would speak to anyone, but feeling ashamed in letting her husband rule her around and treat her the way that he did.
Mrs. Peter’s realizes that the dead bird will be used as the stereotype of Mrs. Wright as a madwoman who overreacts in “Trifles”. Mrs. Peters is the playing the role of sheriffs wife and becomes “married to the law” (400). She claims that her position as the person who dispenses the lots in life when she moves to hide the bird and thus denies the men “something to make a story about” (400).
Symbolically, Mrs. Wright is linked to Mr. Hales description of her “rockin’ back and forth” (393), a motion made similarly to the motion of cutting by the scissors. Mrs. Peter’s discovers that the dead bird in Mrs. Wright’s sewing box and exclaims, “Why, this isn’t scissors” (398). Ironically, the dead canary takes the place of the scissors. The death of the bird directly ties to the death of Mr. Wright. Mr. Hale relates that in his questioning of Mrs. Wright, she admits that her husband “died of a rope around his neck,” but she does not know how it happened because she “didn’t wake up;” she is a
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sound sleeper (393). Mrs. Wright “I was on the inside” (393). Her involvement with the rope of death is equivalent of serving the thread of life. She did not spin the thread, nor did she assign the lot, she merely contributed a part of the whole, and that collective whole became the great part of the story. For this reason, Mrs. Wright is correct in denying on her individual knowledge or responsibility in the death of her husband.
In Trifles the evidence is really waved by Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter’s. They feel sorry for her knowing what she just might have gone through with Mr. Wright. Never really understanding what happened in their relationship. On the Outside always seeing Mr. Wright as a good man “he didn’t drink, and kept his word as well as most, I guess, and paid his debts. But he was a hard man, Mrs. Peter’s” (398). For Mrs. Wright they was not much in his eyes that she could have done right, so she just assumed to quite doing everything and then she would not have to listen to him “like a raw wind that gets to the bone” (398).
Mrs. Wright carries out with the verdict; although the procedure us somewhat reserved. Susan Glaspell’s use of fate or the three sisters, does not weaken or dramatize the women who are oppressed by men. Although some believe that the power of the three sisters remains trivial. Glaspell reminds her audience that, regardless of the myth and the twentieth-century law, it still takes three women to equal one man. Man are not always as lucky to have friends that will stand by there side and find a way to protect them as women do. They are all qualities that remain a mystery.

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Works Cited

Bill, Keveny. “‘Mrs. Harris:’ True Love, true crime.” USA Today (2006): 9-10.
Holstien, Suzy Clarkson. “Silent Justice in a different key: Glaspell’s ‘Trifles.’” Midwest Quartley Vol. 44 (2003): 282-291.
Kanthak, John. “Feminisms in Motion: Pursing the “Wild Zone” Thesis into the fourth dimension. Literature Interpretation Theory Vol. 14 (2003): 149-164).
Marsh, Kelly. “Dead Husbands and other ‘Girls Stuff’: The Trifles in Legally Blonde.” Literature Film Quarterly Vol.33 (2005): 201-206.
Roberts, Edgar. “Trifles.” Writing About Literature-11th ed. (2006): 392-400.
Russell, Judith Key. “Glaspell’s Trifles.” Explicator Vol. 55 (1997): 88-91.
Salla, Michael. “Creating the ‘Ripe Moment’ in the East Timor conflict.” Journal of Peace Research Vol. 34 (1997): 449-467.
Yamashita, Brianna. “A Lady Never Trifles With Thieves” (Book). Publishers Weekly Vol. 250 (2003): 58-60.

Posted by MelissaLupari at 13, 2006 11:12


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