(Sara M. Zaki)                        Trifles..By Susan Glaspell

Susan Glaspell: she was born on July 1st 1876, in Davenport, Iowa. She lived her life with ambition & ideas. When she got out of high school, she put her writing skills to work by getting a job as a reporter for the local newspaper. Later on around 1915, after marrying to George Cook, Glaspell began literary work in New York, along with some experimental theater work. She had never liked to feel controlled or delimited; she rebelled against society’s expectations and, rather than passively wait for a husband to appear, went to Drake University in Des Moines, graduating in June of 1899, and then worked as a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News. Glaspell died of pneumonia in Provincetown in 1948.After writing eleven plays fifty short stories, & nine novels.

Trifles

"Trifles" was inspired by a true story>>In 1900 Glaspell was assigned to cover the trial of Margaret Hossack, an Iowa farmer's wife accused of murdering her husband while he slept. The trial would later become the basis for Glaspell's short story "A Jury of Her Peers" and one-act play Trifles.”

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Plot "Trifles" is a murder mystery that explores gender relationships, power between the sexes, and the nature of truth. While the men bluster and tramp around the farmhouse searching for clues, the women discover bits of evidence in the ‘‘trifles’’ of Mrs. Wrights. Because the men virtually ignore the women’s world, they remain blind to the truth before their eyes.

Characters

Lewis Hale: a farmer and neighbor of the Wright family. / Mrs. Hale: Lewis's wife/George Henderson: the attorney that will eventually prosecute Minnie. Henry Peters: A sheriff / Mrs. Peters: Henry's wife

(The play is unique in that the main character is never present)

Settings: 19th century, Wright’s house, kitchen

Themes

Gender Differences: Men tend to be rough and self-centered; in contrast, women are more deliberative and sensitive to the needs of others.

Isolation: Minni lived in a gloomy farmhouse where she couldn’t even see the road.

Loneliness: the couple was childless, and John killed the only other life in the house: the canary.

Ignorance: Men virtually ignore the women’s world.

Symbols

eg. - The Bird: A symbol of freedom, weakness and loneliness for Mrs. Wright. Kitchen: limited place for women

Unfinished Tasks: confusion and fear after committing the crime.