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Summary Of Characters In The Play Trifle By Susan Gaspell

650 words - 3 pages

1. A trifle is something of little value. The title, "Trifles," refers to the seemingly small, unimportant details that women focus on both in solving the murder case, and in regular life. These small, domestic details focused on by Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, and overlooked by the men in the story, are the evidence that the men are searching for. Because the men see these trifles as insignificant, and only for women, they never get the evidence they wanted. The women did not only look at the obvious aspects of the murder, like the men. Because the women were more intuitive and sensitive to Minnie Wright's life (or lack of), they were able to solve the murder with the trifles, which were actually extremely valuable. The men and women were exposed to the same clues, however the men were too blinded by the "role of a man" and disregard for the important role of a woman to realize the ...view middle of the document...

2. The men and women are kept physically separate because the men are superior to the women. The men search for clues and motive together while the women also stay together. The women however, stand or sit close to each other because of the similarities between them, regarding how women are viewed and treated. The men believed they are off doing the important work while the women stay in the house and worry about "trifles." The men and women were intellectually separated because the men were educated. Because they were educated, the men would be successful in solving the case. Again however, the uneducated women are the only reason why the case was solved (although the men don't know that). Lastly, and most importantly, the men and women are separated emotionally. The men are portrayed as not even having emotion. The only look at obvious, and move on. The only emotion expressed by the men is their disdain for the women's seemingly meaningless focus on trifles. The women's ability to connect the clues with their sympathy for Minnie and their insight into her life because they are also women, solves the case. Glaspell implies that men are arrogant and insolent, and that women are sensitive and more valuable than thought to be.

3. The bird symbolizes Minnie directly. A canary is colorful, lively, and musical. These characteristics describe Minnie before she was married. People who knew her, knew her to be upbeat, and that noticeably changed after she married Mr. Wright. The birdcage symbolizes Mr. Wright. The cage is cold and constricting. Mr. Wright snapping the bird's neck symbolizes him snatching away the liveliness Minnie possessed when she was single.

4. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters hid the box with the bird's body in it, simply because they were sympathetic toward Minnie. Being women, they knew how Minnie felt being constricted by the role of a woman in the early twentieth century; and they knew this was her reason for killing her husband. Because the bird's neck was snapped, the women did not want the men to see this and connect it to the murder of Mr. Wright.

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