Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"

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The Innocence of Trifles

Susan Glaspell's Trifles is the story of a murder in the early 1900's. During this time,

women stayed at home with little to do; especially if they didn't have children. For Minnie

Wright this was the story of her life. When she met Mr. Wright her days of wearing beautiful

dresses, attending the Ladies Aid and singing in the choir were over. As time faded away, so did

Minnie's personality and charm. After many years of marriage, Mr. Wright is found dead with a

rope around his neck in the upstairs bedroom of their home and all fingers point to Mrs. Wright.

The story takes place in the Wright's home and we learn that Mrs. Wright has recently

been put in jail. The Sheriff, County Attorney and Mr. Hale begin to search the house for

evidence; they bring along Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to gather necessities for Mrs.


When the women are left alone to gather her things, they stumble upon clues that could possibly

connect her with the murder. They first notice an unfinished quilt, "Mrs. Peters, look at this one.

Here, this is the one she was working on, and look at the sewing! All the rest of it has been so

nice and even. And look at this! It's all over the place! Why, it looks as if she didn't know what

she was about!" (Glaspell 1231). The sudden change in her sewing means that something has

thrown her focus off and has possibly made her mad. Continuing their search, they come

across a bird cage; "Why, look at this door. It's broke. One hinge is pulled apart" (Glaspell

1232). Mr. Wright was a quiet man; he didn't like noisy things very much. Is it possible that he

ripped open...