Meaninglessness In Trifles

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Meaningless Clues

Oscar Wilde once said, “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” In the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Wright in the beginning, disgusts the reader. Her demeanor, described as queer many times, she seems emotionless about her husband’s death absolutely. In the early 1900’s women were fighting for their rights as American citizens and workers – hoping to obtain equal respect and opportunity that the men had. Glaspell displays an unexpected outcome through misleading the reader by showing more professionalism in the male law enforcement, expanding on the actual trifles the women discover, and how the women put their emotions and empathy first even though one is the wife of the Sheriff.

The men during this time period were predominate in the industry and working class. Post John Wright’s death, Mr. Henderson and Mr. Peters take on the case entirely. During investigation, Mr. Henderson intimidates Mrs. Hale by asking her questions about her relationship with Mrs. Wright and suggesting that they must have been friends since they are, after
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Peters noticed that led to her husband’s ironic joke. The quilt, though, is the first thing the women noticed. It was quilted for the most part, but towards the end was very sloppy. Mrs. Hale then questioned whether Mrs. Wright was going to quilt it or knot it. Laughing, Sheriff Peters says to Mr. Henderson, “They wonder if she was going to quilt it or just knot it” (563). The women are embarrassed by his remarks. Once the men left for the barn, the women continued on. Rummaging through things, Mrs. Peters finds a birdcage in the cupboard. She noticed that the cage door was broken off like it has maybe been roughed around a bit. They move on to discover a sewing box that Mrs. Wright kept her supplies in. At this point, the women still suspect nothing – until Mrs. Hale notices a small object beautifully wrapped in
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