Expert Answer:Susan Glaspell: Essays on Her Theater and Fiction

  

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Trifles
Question 1
Sherriff and the county attorney general expresses a belittling attitude towards the women
in the play. “Is this for Sikkink lit heritage’ is a quote from the play to show the negative attitude
towards women in the play (Glaspell, 198).
Question 2
Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters act as amateur detectives by creating suspicion on the way
men investigate Mrs. Wright’s crime. Mrs. Hale accepts that all women face injustice and go
through similar problems and remains calm about the issue. Mrs. Peter protects Minnie because
she chooses to empathize with a person reflecting on their own needs rather than the imposed
marriage identity (Glaspell, 202).
Question 3
The married life of the Wrights is unhappy as learned from the short stories told by Mrs.
Hale and Mrs. Peters. Mr. Wright hates most things about the wife such as singing and keeping a
pet bird in the house.
Question 4
Presumably, Mr. Wright is dead while Mrs. Wright disappears causing other characters to
believe that she created the husband’s death. Glaspell adds a sense of mystery in the play through
the absence of the couple on the stage and allows other characters to speak with holding back.
Question 5
The wildly stitched block in Minnie’s quilt shows the presence of something wrong.
Minnie took her anger on her stitching when Mr. Wright killed her Pet bird.
Question 6
The characters in the play who seem to understand the significance of the stitches are
Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. Sherriff and the county attorney general do not understand the
importance of the stitches presumably because of their gender (Glaspell, 199). The difference in
recognizing the significance of the stitches is ironic because the men overlook the little physical
objects which later proved to be the primary evidence to the case under investigation.
Question 7
Mrs. Hale understands that living with a man like Mr. Wright is hard thus rips out the
stitches. Mrs. Hale feels sympathy for Mrs. Wright and decides to get rid of the potential
evidence.
Question 8
The canary with the wrung neck resembles the rope around Mr. Wrights body a symbol
of the relationship between the death of the bird and man. The resemblance symbolizes that one
of the ends occurs as a revenge to the other party’s death (Glaspell 200).
Question 9
In the Play “Jury of her Peers” men act as the Jury because they use the available
evidence in the court to decide on the case. The verdict from the Jury works against the
suspected murderer because the women find evidence for murder, but the Jury belittles their
testimony
Question 10
The verdict from the Jury is unfair because men do not listen to the suspect’s story and
end up ignoring the little clues of evidence from her side. The discovery of the tragedy of her life
is accidentally leading to the insight of the good women.
Work Cited
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Baker’s Plays, 2010.192-204
Hedges, Elaine. “Small Things Reconsidered: ‘A Jury of Her Peers.’.” Susan Glaspell: Essays on
Her Theater and Fiction (2002): 49-70.
LITERARY GLOSSARY 3.3
Setting: Typically, setting focuses on the time or place in which the actions of the plot occur.
Setting may also refer to an intellectual context of some kind, such as a theological setting, a
political setting, or some other kind of cultural setting.
Symbol: A visible object or action that functions on a literal level within the text, but which also
suggests some further meaning in addition to itself. One of the most common examples is the
heart. As a symbol, the heart is a literal physical object (a muscle that pumps blood), but it also
very often has the additional symbolic meaning of “love.”
Dramatic Irony: Typically, a situation in which the audience (and perhaps other characters)
knows more than an individual character so that something the less knowledgeable says, does,
hears, or encounters means more to the audience (and the other characters) than to the less
knowledgeable character.

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