Trifles is a one-act play by Susan Glaspell. It was first performed by the Provincetown Players at the Wharf Theatre in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on August 8, 1916. The play is set in rural Iowa, in the kitchen of a farmhouse where John Wright has been found dead.
The police are investigating the murder and question Mrs. Wright, who appears to be in a state of shock. The other women in the play—Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters—are more concerned with practical matters than with the investigation. They notice that the kitchen is very dirty and that there is no food in the house. They also find a unfinished quilt in the attic that Mrs. Wright had been working on.
The quilt is significant because it is a symbol of Mrs. Wright’s life and her lost dreams. The play ends with the women deciding to keep the murder a secret, protecting Mrs. Wright from the police. Trifles is a powerful play about gender roles and the way women are often underestimated. It is also a study of human nature and the way people can be motivated by their own self-interest.
The play “Trifles,” which takes place in the kitchen of the Wright home, is a murder mystery. Glaspell begins the tale by establishing the crime scene in the minds of the audience with Mr. Peters and Mr. Henderson interviewing Mr. Hale over his discovery of Mr. Wright’s body at the start of the story. After that, he goes on to discuss Mrs. Wright’s behavior, and finally he discusses her husband’s death The action rises in this narrative after the males leave off talking to one another and go up to look for evidence or a reason, as they believe it will be found there
The women then begin to snoop around the kitchen for anything that may help them understand why Mrs. Wright killed her husband. Glaspell uses dialogue effectively in this story to further develop the characters, and also to provide comic relief. Trifles is successful in having the audience question gender roles, as well as providing a social commentary on the treatment of women during this time period.
The women started asking a lot of questions, as well as looking at the kitchen and how it was left after the murder. The men then hear the ladies discussing if Mrs. Wright intended to knot or pierce the rope. Because they found such things to be unimportant, the males laughed at the females when they discovered that they had stitched up their jackets. The ladies locate the bird cage, which serves as a focal point for all of suspenseful tension in this section. Ironically, throughout most of this stage,
The climax of Trifles is when Mrs. Hale remembers that Mr. Wright used to scare the canary and would give it no water, which made it sing a “lonely” tune. She also found out that he had smashed the birdcage on the day of the murder. This led to Mrs. Peters concluding that Mrs. Wright must have killed her husband in self-defense after years of being mistreated. When the men came back into the kitchen, the women had already packed up Mrs. Wright’s things and were ready to leave. The men scolded them for not finding any evidence, but the women simply replied that they had found enough evidence for themselves.
The resolution of Trifles is left somewhat open-ended, as the fate of Mrs. Wright is not explicitly stated. However, it is implied that she will be rescued from the consequences of her actions and taken care of by the women. This is seen as a victory for the women, who have been able to empathize with Mrs. Wright and understand her situation, even though the men could not. Trifles is thus a story about the power of empathy and understanding, and how they can lead to justice being served.
The dramatic finale is signaled at this point. The women discover a dead bird within a box placed in the sewing basket. The discovery of the neck being wrung like Mr. Wright’s causes them to realize that the same thing had happened to their father. Glaspell then remarks that there was a look of growing understanding on the two ladies’ faces as they were discussing it. This line is significant because, their queries were satisfied, and the ladies now know who murdered Mr. Wright
The play Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a murder mystery that takes place in the early 1900’s. The play is about the death of Mr. Wright, and how his wife is the one who killed him. The story is told from the perspective of the county attorney, George Henderson, and his wife, Mrs. Peters. They are the only people in the play who know what really happened.
It’s also a bit amusing since the women discover ‘little things’ that the males dismiss as irrelevant, which ironically solves the problem. This is due to the fact that neither men nor women anticipate being able to assist with a murder investigation. Inadvertently, the females solve the case. It’s also intriguing that all of the discoveries were made in the kitchen, where men are rarely seen but do tend to go there in general.
The kitchen is known to be a place for women and children and not really a ‘man’s domain.’ Susan Glaspell wrote Trifles in 1916, which was a time when society was changing, but not fast enough for some. Women were still very much oppressed by men and were not seen as equals. This play speaks to that inequality even though it is set in such a small town where you wouldn’t expect there to be any major social issues. It just goes to show that no matter where you are, or what time period, there is always going to be some sort of inequality somewhere. Trifles also shows how incredibly intelligent women are and how they are often underestimated.
It is interesting that the play is still relevant today, over 100 years later. There are still many social issues that are similar to the ones in Trifles. Women are still not seen as equals in some parts of the world and are still very much oppressed. This play is a reminder that we need to keep fighting for equality and that women are just as capable as men, if not more so.