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Drama – Trifles by Susan Glaspell


“Trifles” is a mystery solution story relating to the murder of Farmer John Wright in the thick of night. The apparent cause of death is strangulation with a rope. His wife, Minnie Wright is the suspect. The story (One-act play) was written in the year 1916.

The play begins with the investigation of the murder by the sheriff, the country attorney, Mr. and Mrs. Hale, the neighbors. Mrs. Wright is never seen on the stage and is known by reference by other characters of the play. A parallel investigation goes on in the house. The perspective of the group of men investigating the motives for the crime and that of the women is entirely different. Men do not find anything of consequence in the kitchen that can be submitted as evidence for the murder. They are not able to find something tangible that may help to solve the mystery. The sheriff says, “Nothing here but kitchen things,” (itech.fgcu.edu ) and the group of men move upstairs for further examination of the premises.

Mrs. Wright denies that she is the murderer of her husband. The sixth sense of women works and they find some tangible items as evidence. They are, “Ruined fruit preserves, bread that has been left out of its box, an unfinished quilt, a half clean/half messy table top, and an empty bird cage.” (itech.fgcu.edu)
The play concludes and all exit the kitchen with women stating that they have understood Mrs. Wright’s quilt making style, implying that they know the manner in which she killed her husband. The main theme of the story is men are businesslike in the task of crime investigations and they ravel in self-importance, but women are observant and know the how minds of couple work, in the family atmosphere, when relations are strained and it turns out to be a case of marital discord. In the present case, it resulted in the murder of the man.

Works Cited
Susan Glaspell: Trifles.Web:itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/wohlpart/alra/glaspell.htm

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