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By: Deb, Meghan, Megan, Nicole & Kirsten

Deborah Olsen

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of Trifles

By: Susan Glaspell

Plot Graph
Rising Action
Falling Action
Causative Incident
The End!
Very fast
Basic description of a "now abandoned farmhouse"
A gloomy kitchen and an overall messy house
Early 1900's
Sherriff (Mr. Peters)
County Attorney (Mr. Henderson)
MR. Hale
Mrs. Hale
Mrs. Peters
Mrs. Wright
All characters apart from Mrs. Wright are in the Wright's residence
Mr. Hale had been to the house the day before
Recalls how Mrs. Wright had stated her husband was dead upstairs
Now, the men are here to investigate
The men leave the kitchen
Women dissect the kitchen, bringing up psychological traits of Mrs. Wright- a desperate housewife
The women gather quilting material, and notice a fancy box
Inside is a canary, that had its neck wrung
They look to each other with comprehension
The men join them once again
After the men see a broken bird cage, they ask if it has flown
The women say the cat got it
The two women agree to not tell anyone about the bird without actually saying those words
Mrs. Hale takes the bird and the box, to hide it
The men do not have enough evidence but decide to call it a day
Elements of Plot
Setting & Atmosphere
The kitchen- related to feminism
The Kitchen is cold- Like Mr. & Mrs. Wrights relationship
Messy and things were out of place
No phone in the house
Gloomy, foreshadowing the depressing marriage
Day earlier, Mrs. Wright is downstairs and Mr. Wrights body is upstairs
Small chair in the corner
Women vs. Society
People vs. People
Person vs. Themselves
Segregation of women, men never take what they say seriously
Female identity
Law and injustice
Male dominance
Point of View
Protagonist vs. Antagonist
Author's Style & Tone
Author Biography, Cultural & Historical Elements
Plot Structure
Elements of Plot
Stylistic Devices
Stylistic Devices
Knitting Basket- Universal Symbol
Canary- Contextual Symbol
Jars- Contextual Symbol
Lost motivation to clean the kitchen which represents the lost motivation to work out their relationship
Mrs. Peters/ Mrs. Hale regretted no visiting her more, if they did she would have had things to do and be happy
The two women found the evidence to show Mrs. Wright murdered Mr. Wright
Mr. Wright killed the bird, Mrs. Wright killed him
The man is the "greater authority figure" & therefore can have complete control over his wife
Representing Mrs. Wright's harshness with the theme of death
Multiple words with letters like T, D, Q, C, & K
Author Biography
Susan Glaspell
Born July 1st, 1876 in Davenport, Iowa
Mid-Western influences background
Graduated from Drake University with a Ph.D. in Philosophy
Worked at Des Moines Daily News
Married to George Cram Cook
Created the "Provincetown Players Theater"
Pulitzer prize winning playwright, actress, novelist, and journalist
Died July 27th 1948 at the age of 72 from pneumonia
Cultural & Historical Influences
√Era of woman writing about woman’s right
Influenced by a murder trial she was covering during the 1900's, to write "Trifles" and another short story named "A Jury of her Peers"
After marrying George Cram Cook, they both wanted to leave their conservative upbringing, so she started to write plays that tested their societies typical views
Created plays that experimented with both realism and satire, she wanted her audience to live to the fullest
Greenwhich Village, a place where they were concerned with socialism and feminism
Susan Glaspell is the author
Short Story was written in 1916
Story is about a murder that took place
With theme being a major part of this story
Multiple stylistic elements cleverly used ex. foreshadowing
Play, so it doesn't have a typical POV
Reader/audience only sees what is being presented example, the canary
3rd Person Limited
Males of the story constantly belittling the females directly and indirectly
Because it is a one act play, characters are introduced quickly and personalities can be perceived by the audience and develop quickly
Most characters have a strong personality
Used to explain layout of the murder
As well, why the murder might have happened from Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters views
"The concerns of women are often considered to be mere trifles, unimportant issues that bear little or no importance to the true work of society, which, of course, is being carried out by men"
Protagonist:At first believe it is Mr. Wright
Once the short thickens to show more of the story line, it is obvious the women as a whole are the protagonist's
Antagonist: At first believe it is Mrs. Wright, for killing husband
Later on it is revealed that the men in general are the antagonist
Constantly degrading women and making them seem unintellectual
Take the women for granted
Full transcript