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“Trifles”(p. 1033) http://wiredforbooks.org/trifles/ By Susan Glaspell (1882-1948) First performed in 1916
Type of Play • One-act, American 19th century drama
Plot: Identify Types of Conflict • Person vs. Person • Person vs. Self • Person vs. Environment • (social or natural) • Person vs. God
Setting • Natural or Artificial? • Hostile or Friendly? • Early 1900’s • American Midwest • Farmhouse kitchen
Characterization • Protagonist = Mrs. Wright • Antagonist = Men? Society? Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters? The Law? • The social climate is the central antagonist
Characterization • John Wright • Good man • Hard man • Closemouthed • Stingy
Mrs. Wright • Pretty and lively when young “Minnie Foster • Sang in choir • Homemaker when married • Lonely • Childless • Married to Mr. “Right”
Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale • The women are unsure of each other • Mrs. Peters: Married to the law • Mrs. Hale: Mini’s neighbor • Uneasily discover, discuss clues • Mrs. Wright is tried by a jury of her peers
Mr. Peters and Mr. Hale • In charge • Mocking of women • Supportive of each other • Concerned with law and the big picture
Symbol • The bird • The bird cage • The Quilt • “Quilt it or Knot it” • The cold • “Married to the law” • “That was a crime” • Names: Mr. and Mrs. Wright/“Right”
Theme • Trends of society and the law can be cruel and unfeeling and inhumane • Laws at that time were made and enforced by men, with harsh consequences