A Conspiracy of Women in Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” Essay

A Conspiracy of Women in Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” Essay.

The differences among people somehow create a bond of affection or even simple empathy among those who share similarities. This is true for those who belong to the same racial and ethnic backgrounds, religion, nationality, and gender. Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles, explores the tie that binds women together; a conspiracy which comes into play in defense of a member who experiences a slight from a man. In the one-act play, Minnie Wright is being suspected of having killed her husband.

Minnie’s character does not appear in the play but she is the focus the entire time as the other characters talk about her and what she did.

The play opens with Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters being brought along by the County Attorney and the Sheriff to the Wright residence to look for evidence regarding Mr. Wright’s death. While the men do the supposedly all-important task of looking for clues, the women are to collect some things for Minnie who was then in prison awaiting trial.

They putter in the kitchen, worrying about Minnie’s ruined preserves and her unfinished quilting. Mrs. Hale comments about how they are “takin’ up our time with little things while we’re waiting for them (the men) to get the evidence (Glaspell).

” However, it is actually the women who find all the strong evidence that could convict Minnie. As they are going through Mrs. Wright’s sewing things, Mrs. Hale comes across a pretty box with a dead bird inside wrapped in silk. Its neck is wrung-out suggesting that somebody might have killed it and Minnie meant to bury it. As both women contemplate on the dead bird and what it must have meant to Minnie, facts about the murder seem to fit together like pieces of a jigsaw to the two women as well as the readers’ mind. Mrs.

Hale remembers how Minnie was a pretty girl who “used to wear pretty clothes…one of the town girls singing in the choir (Glaspell). ” However, the once vibrant and cheerful character undergoes a transformation when she marries Mr. Wright. He was a possessive husband whom Mrs. Hale believes had a lot to do with the changes in Minnie after the marriage. According to her, Minnie kept to herself after the marriage, she seldom went out, and the couple did not even receive callers because Mr. Wright did not like having visitors around.

Furthermore, they did not ever have children, which left Minnie alone in the home the whole day while Mr. Wright went to work. Mrs. Hale aptly describes Mrs. Wright’s life when she says: Mrs. Hale: Not having children makes less work—but it makes a quiet house, and Wright out to work all day, and no company when he did come in…He was a hard man, Mrs. Peters. Just to pass the time of day with him—(shivers). Like a raw wind that gets to the bone…(Glaspell) Getting a bird as a pet would have been Minnie’s consolation in her depressing life. It was supposed to sing for her when her husband didn’t allow her to sing anymore.

However, Mr. Wright had to withhold even this little joy from her. He kills the bird and her futile final effort to revive her spirit may have pushed Minnie to the edge, thus leading to the murderous act against her husband. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters both come to this same conclusion although they would leave it unsaid. Glaspell also leaves it to the reader to come to this inevitable conclusion. The two women then keep the truth they uncover from the men, including the clues they find among Minnie’s things. This is because Minnie’s fate strikes a common chord between them.

Minnie may have had it worse than they, but they understand what happened to her. Mrs. Peters, for instance, remembers how, in childhood, a boy killed her kitten with a hatchet right before her eye. They know the feeling of being defeated because they could not generate enough strength to fight against men. They live in acceptance of the social notion that they are of the weaker sex whose concerns in life are mere trifles like gossip and housework. They understand the life of being cooped inside a house with all household chores to finish while the men are at work, the more important job of the two.

Their conspiratorial silence is a sort of revenge for Minnie, themselves, and all women who have had to suffer a life that is more or less like Minnie’s oppressing married life. The dialogues between the men and women throughout the play give the reader an idea as to how men treat women during the period when the play is set. When the County Attorney notices the dirty towels by the kitchen sink, he immediately judges Minnie Wright to be “not much of a housekeeper,” which says a lot about her since women are supposed to be simply housekeepers and nothing else. When Mrs.

Peters worries about Minnie’s preserves going bad, the Sheriff replies: “Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder and wooryin’ about her preserves (Glaspell). ” The men constantly keep this undermining tone towards the women many times during the play. While it is easy to conclude that withholding the crucial information about Minnie’s motive for killing her husband is wrong, it becomes harder to decide when one examines the context behind the murder. The act may be against the law, but in the eyes of the two women, what Minnie did was an act in the defense of many women who experience oppression from their respective husbands.

It was an act of defiance, even heroism. They felt the need to cover-up Minnie’s deed, she being another woman, another housewife, and one whose own promising life had been cut-off by a man. Viewing the crime as a woman, Minnie becomes the sympathetic character and victim instead of the criminal. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter’s final act of withholding relevant information about the murder proves that women could empower themselves, could even be more superior to men when they wanted, and the men does not even have to know they have already been had. Work Cited Glaspell, Susan. Trifles.

A Conspiracy of Women in Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” Essay

Character Analysis of Mrs. Wright in “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspell Essay

Character Analysis of Mrs. Wright in “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspell Essay.

Mrs. Wright is a character not present at the scene, but for me, posed a great importance in the whole story. In the Story, Mrs. Wright was the wife of the murdered John Wright. She was the primary suspect, since she was the only person with the Mr. Wright when he was murdered, at his case, strangled to death. Mrs. Wright, as told by Mr. Hale, was the person he stumbled upon when he came in looking for John Wright. It was also Mrs.

Wright who told him that John was dead, strangled to death while she was sleeping beside him.

She showed no expression of grief or shock when she was telling this to him, and even managed a laugh when she was asked where John was. She was arrested in the end, and that was when the scene in the story started. There are several elements to consider when analyzing the character of Mrs. Wright. There are more things than what meets the eye, which is why it is necessary to scrutinize the things she was with and the things she was doing in the story.

In order to do this, there was a need to introduce two characters that explore Mrs.

Wright’s personality. These characters were Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. Throughout the story, it was through these two that the readers were able to understand Mrs. Wrights character more, even though she wasn’t present in the scene. One of the first elements that could be associated with Mrs. Wright’s character was the rocker she was sitting on, when Mr. Hale arrived and was looking for John Wright. The rocker represents Mrs. Wrights feeling at that time, wherein she seemed to be at peace, but continued to rock in the stillness of everything around her.

When she was questioned by the people who came into her house, she seemed confident with what she is saying. She was calm when she answered that John wasn’t around, and even managed a laugh when she said that John was dead already. She was calm in the inside, but deep inside her, she was troubled, rather, indifferent of her present situation. Another element that serves useful for the exposition of Mrs. Wright’s character was when Mrs. Peters remembers the young Mrs. Wright, where she used to be a choir member and wore pretty dresses. And that it all stopped when she became the wife of John Wright.

This explanation has opened a door for the audience to think about the life Mrs. Wright is living. Is she happy being the wife of the murdered John Wright? Or does his death liberate her of some sort from the unhappiness that she was feeling when she was with him. The skirt that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale gathered for Mrs. Wright also gave an understanding of her past, wherein she wore pretty clothes and looked pretty herself, and that it seems like she was being deprived of the happy and beautiful things in life when she was with her husband.

Another exposition of Mrs. Wright’s personality was shown by the disarray in her house, of the unfinished tasks she seem to have started yet have found no time to finish. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale had shown the audience a better understanding of what it feels like being a housewife, how one would feel uncomfortable with things left unfinished. This showed that there is definitely something wrong going on with the life of Mrs. Wright, something that could really be useful in solving the case of the murdered Mr. Wright. The two are convinced that Mrs.

Wright has no problems at all with being a housewife, since she has started doing things that a typical housewife would do. Mend clothes, cook, do kitchen work. But because of an undisclosed reason, she wasn’t always able to finish those tasks. And that made the two ladies suspicious of the case. The turning point of the exposition of Mrs. Wright’s character was when the two ladies saw the birdcage without any bird. They were somewhat curious why the cage had no bird in it, since it would make sense that a bird is a perfect companion for a housewife like Mrs. Wright.

When they closely examined the cage, they found that it has a broken cage door; something that made their suspicion grew larger. If you carefully analyze what they were able to discover, the broken door wouldn’t make sense if there was no bird there. The broken door is a manifestation of force being used to pry opens the cage, who did it, was still unknown. The situation that ended their suspicion was when they found out about a dead bird wrapped in cloth that has its head and neck deformed because it was strung up. This was also the missing piece that solved the puzzle of Mrs. Wright’s character.

They found out that Mrs. Wright really had a motive to kill her husband. Mrs. Wright was a person deprived of happiness whenever she was with her husband. Her carefree young days ended when she married John Wright. She stopped singing, she stopped wearing beautiful clothes, and eventually lost all hopes in her life. The bird represented her remaining sanity, her remaining hope in her life. But when it was taken away from her, she also snapped. When the bird stopped singing, Mr. John Wright also stopped living. Reference: Glaspell, Susan. “Trifles”. 1916. July 15 2007. <http://www. vcu. edu/engweb/eng384/trifles. htm>.

Character Analysis of Mrs. Wright in “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspell Essay