Trifles By Susan Glaspell Analysis

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“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell is a one-act play that explores a story based on the true event of John Hossack’s murder. Glaspell was one of the journalists back then in Iowa, who involved in reporting this case. She used her experiences and observations to create the play. “Trifles” revolves around the solving of John Wright’s murder, which he was killed with a rope around his neck when he was asleep at night. The prime suspect of this case, Minne Foster is John Wright’s lonely wife. “Trifles” which was written during the first wave of feminism in America, consist of various themes that circulate around female issues. The main theme of this play is women’s oppression which is expressed by men’s point of views toward women. From the…show more content…
Minnie’s isolation is the main reason that leads to the unhappiness in their marriage. Mrs. Peters and Mrs Hale mentioned that John Wright was a hard man and did not provide Minnie the companionship she needed. Through the line, “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that-oh, that was thirty years ago” Mrs Hale explains how Minnie had been a pretty girl, who liked to sing. After she married John, she changed because of her loneliness. Then, Glaspell also depicted the theme in the play using symbols. The symbols are playing an important role to pose problems for the readers or audience to interpret what Glaspell tries to imply (Knowles and Moon, 2006). For instance, the bird cage is signifying that Minnie had very limited space to do her role as a human in nature. She was so isolated from the mainstream surroundings that she did not even belong to Ladies Aid, a woman organization at that time. This kind of isolation lead to the loneliness as her husband, John Wright, worked in farm all day while she was left alone all day in home. The canary also represents Minnie’s isolation after marrying John Wright as the canary was also stripped away from it freedom by being caged and domesticated. Glaspell also uses the canary to refer directly to Minnie by…show more content…
The play supposedly can be counted as a murder mystery story but most of the murder mystery usually end with the criminal being justified but in this, the idea of justice is very tricky. When Mrs Hale and Mrs Peters discovered the dead canary, they successfully found a solid evidence that can serves as a motive for Minnie’s killing her husband. However, they somewhat interpreted the evident to justify Minnie’s act of murder. They perceived that Minnie’s action actually was not a murder, but an escape. The fact that John Wright’s cruel action in strangling Minnie’s beloved pet bird that helped her to cope with her isolation was not the only sole reason she murdered him. The action actually was the peak of the social oppression and loneliness that has eventually strangled Minnie herself. They understood Minnie’s situation as they themselves received the same prejudice and mistreatment, as seen from the line, “We all go through the same things- it’s all just a different kind of the same thing”. This theme is represented mostly through the character, Mrs Peters. Even though Mrs Peter is a sheriff’s wife and was described as “married to the law” by the County Attorney, she has sympathy for Minnie. At the end of the play, she took a biggest turn from her original character by standing up with Mrs Hale in hiding the evidence that could convict Minnie. She was the one who

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