Trifles: Thought and Mrs. Wright Essay

Submitted By justinc61356
Words: 1126
Pages: 5

Trifles Interpretation In Trifles Susan Glaspell does an excellent job of showing the subtle differences in both genders’ thought processes. She does this by representing a situation that has a rather obvious initial plot, but a very ironic conclusion. The characters all have a good idea of who the murderer is, but need to find a motive in order to convict Mrs. Wright. The men, including the town’s sheriff and county attorney, go about their business searching for evidence, while the women patiently wait in the kitchen. During their conversation they start trifling over the disarray of a few minor things, and stumble upon the evidence that the men were looking for. The investigation of John Wright’s murder involves careless technique, subtle symbolism, and a contrast between male and female egos. In the end guilt, emotions, and sympathy lead to an ironic conclusion. The Sheriff and County Attorney are both very arrogant men. They feel the investigation is over before they even start searching for evidence. They idly pear around the kitchen and notice that things are somewhat disheveled. The men even point this out to the women but think nothing of it. This is the first instance that the women start opening their eyes, while the men don’t give it a second thought. The county attorney questions the sheriff, “You’re convinced that there is nothing of importance here – nothing that would point to any motive?” The sheriff responds, “Nothing here but kitchen things.” (Glaspell 1030-1031) The women on the other hand see this mess as a strange sight. Once the men leave the room and go upstairs, the women start noticing other small details in the kitchen that depict a woman that was severely distraught. They see the disarray of the preserves, the table half cleaned, and the unfinished stitches on the quilt as a sign that Mrs. Wright was lost in thought. They felt that any women in her right mind would finish cleaning both sides of the table, and would want her hard work on a quilt to be finished completely and as beautifully as the rest of it. These small details, along with the broken door on the bird cage, lead the women to figuring out the real story behind the murder and the motive. The women in this play are the real detectives, and the men seem to have no idea of the importance behind these clues. They seem to be lost and have no idea what they are looking for. When the men finish scouring the bedroom, they head out to the garage, which has absolutely no connection to the murder. There are many instances in the story that relate to symbolism of the setting. Susan Glaspell uses imagery of color and links between the setting and characters to give the reader an insight into the life of Mr. and Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Hale told the County Attorney, “It never seemed a cheerful place.” (Glaspell 1031) Susan Glaspell illustrates this by imagery of the kitchen. The walls are covered in fading wallpaper, the windows have no decorative curtains, and the kitchen table is unpainted with straight wooden chairs. It is a lonely house that sits unseen by the road down in a hollow. Another example where the author uses color to illustrate the plot is with the broken jars of preserves. The specific mention of cherries as the fruit in the jars makes the reader imagine the color red, which is also the color of blood. The broken jars may also symbolize a broken home which the Wright’s were a part of. A couple of instances where Mrs. Wright was trying to make a subtle statement are with the bird and the quilt. She tries to bring warm homely feelings into the house, with a colorful log cabin patterned quilt and a brightly colored song bird. Susan Glaspell chooses to use a canary in this play because it is a very brightly colored bird that has a song that most love to listen to. Mrs. Wright chose to adopt this bird because it was a recollection of her own past. When Mrs. Wright was Minnie Foster, she used to be…