Innocence In Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles John and Minnie Wright are the focus of the play and surprisingly its biggest mystery. These two characters are never physically introduced; the strength in John and the fragility of Minnie are only revealed through the dialogue that the other characters partake in. The Wrights are introduced as complete opposites, therefore it is no surprise that one partner-John- whole-heartedly dominates the other-Minnie. Coincidently this imbalance is also seen in the societal structure of the time in terms of the disparity between a woman’s position and a man’s. In Trifles the opposing view of the Count Attorney and Mrs. Hale on the Wrights, single-handedly develop the characters in front of the readers. As John’s murder is …show more content…
Hale, the motive of John’s homicide may have still been discovered yet its significance would have remained a mystery. More importantly she is the driving force behind developing the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Wright through her past knowledge and experiences. On the other hand the county attorney provides insight on the gender oriented expectations of that time and his thoughts parallel that of the male view of that generation. Mr. Hale and the sheriff also aid in establishing the extent of the gender disparity that was present in society and in the Wright’s marriage. While Mrs. Peters relates her own experience of loss to the death of Minnie’s songbird providing the readers some insight on the grief and anger that follows losing a beloved animal companion. Overall each character via primarily dialogue - since Trifles was not written with an omniscient perspective- is able to contribute information about the events preceding the play that are detrimental to the audience’s understanding of the play itself. Janet Wright and Ben-Zvi provided different perspectives that enhanced the comprehension of Trifles. In the end Minnie acquired the justice that she believed was her right and the other two wives formed her judge and jury and stood by her, protecting their fellow companion. They might not have been close friends, however their stance was less about protecting a friend and more about the complex issue of sexism; one that every woman is consciously

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