Someone Needed to Tie the Knot

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Character isn't something that I usually think to write a research paper on. It's usually just one of those things that get pushed to the side of my mind. The character is important, but usually the actions and outside influences seem more pressing and important than the main character or characters themselves. However, after reading this chapter, it makes more sense to start from the character and then branch outward to other events or situations that changed the character.

For example, I didn't really get the connection at first between why the women, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, in Susan Glaspell's play Trifles, helped cover up the evidence that would have definitely put Minnie Wright away. That was until I examined the characters closer. One theory could be that the men in the story seemed to not understand the women. Therefore out of understanding for their own suffering, guilt for not going to see Mrs. Wright more, and the fact that Mr. Wright was supposedly a stern and hard man, you have a recipe for why they found Minnie Wright's actions justifiable enough to hide the evidence. Mrs. Hale at one point says, "She used to sing. He killed that, too," referring to how Mrs. Wright used to sing before her husband took it away from her (Roberts, 399). This furthermore establishes the motive behind Mrs. Wright's decision to kill her husband. This not only excuses Mrs. Wright for why she felt she needed to kill Mr. Wright, but allows the reader to consider that maybe it needed to happen in order for Mrs. Wright to preserve her own sanity.  Then again perhaps, she had just had enough of her husband and decided to do something about it.


Josie Rush said:

After reading how the men were talking to the women, *I* was about ready to kill them myself. I'd say their condenscending attitudes were motive enough for the women, not only to cover up Mrs. Wright's crime, but, heck, make a spree out of it.

I totally agree. I agree that once you have the character everything else sort of falls into place for the most part. Once you've decided, male or female, brown hair or blonde, once you have all of that figured out you can take the next step into creating your story. And by that time things become a lot easier too I'm sure!

Dave said:

I agree with Josie, as far as the men's attitudes providing reason enough for them to cover up the crime. However, I think the women's initial reaction was to simply not help the men, rather than actively cover up. This changes when they determine what happened and decide that Minnie's actions were justified. They end up actively covering up when they lie to the attorney about the canary, and remove the body.

Carissa Altizer said:

This is very similar to what I wrote. It must have been very difficult to be a woman then. Times have changed significantly for women. Only a few generations ago were women allowed to vote, and just a few months ago President Obama signed the bill ensuring us equal pay in the workplace. It's been a slow fight for equal rights...I believe these women were simply doing what they could to ensure what they believed was justice in an unequal world.

Dave said:

I like what Carissa said, and actually it gives an additional meaning to the title of the play. Amongst the many, many steps required to bring about equality (in 1916), saving one woman from a murder charge was a trifle (using the other definition as something small, rather than something unimportant).

Pavel said:

I totally agree

Melissa Schwenk said:

Josie - I'm glad someone agreed that the men were completely incompetent at least as far as finding clues and figuring out the murder. They had already made up their minds before they even went to look at the house that she was the killer. They're obviously not very good detectives.

Dave - I think the whole reason the women don't want to actually help the men is because the men seem to think that they are incompetent. Therefore, when they stumble across the evidence and piece together everything they realize that they have to hide the evidence because in some unconscious way they agree with the murder. Also, good play on the meaning of "trifle." It makes more sense when you think about Mrs. Hale helping to get Mrs. Wright off the hook that way.

Carissa - You're definitely right. They were trying to ensure that justice came out right for Mrs. Wright.

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