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Trifles Essay

800 words - 3 pages

Trifles


Trifles, written in the early 1900’s by Susan Glaspell, is a one-act play illustrating how women can overreact to their own emotions, allowing these emotions to cloud their judgment. This is shown by describing the feelings of two women who are willing to defend a suspect, blame the victim, and go so far as to hide evidence, to protect another woman from being charged with murdering her husband. Mrs. Wright is the suspect in the murder of her husband, who was strangled in his sleep, found with the rope still around his neck. The sheriff and an attorney are examining Mrs. Wrights home for evidence. Mr. Henderson, the attorney, speaking of Mrs. Wright says, “Here’s a nice mess, ..Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” (Kirszner & Mandell 1166) Mrs. Hale, the suspects neighbor, defends Mrs. Wright immediately saying, “There’s a great deal of work to be done on a farm. Those towels get dirty awful quick. Men’s hands aren’t always as clean as they might be.” (1166) She says this even though she hardly knows Mrs. Wright. She admits this when she says, “I’ve not seen much of her of late years. I’ve not been in this house – it’s more than a year.” (1166) Even so, Mrs. Hale feels protective toward Mrs. Wright and defends her. Mr. Peters, the sheriff, and Mr. Henderson, go upstairs to look for a motive. Mrs. Hale is left talking to Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s wife, and they begin to put themselves in the shoes of the suspect.

They imagine how she must have felt living a life in a home that “.. never seemed a very cheerful place” (1166) “..it’s a lonesome place and always was, ..not having children makes less work - but it makes a quiet house.” (1171) They discuss Mr. Wright as if he were a cruel man, “he was a hard man, ..like a raw wind that gets to the bone.”(1171) After hearing this, Mrs. Peters compares how Mrs. Wright must have felt with a memory of her own past. “I know what stillness is. When we homesteaded in Dakota, and my first baby died – after he was two years old, and me with no other then – I know what stillness...

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