The Way the Trifle is Being Depicted - Literature Essay Example

The Way the Trifle is Being Depicted

In the story “Trifle,” the way the setting was depicted by the author helps the audience understand how sad the main character is - The Way the Trifle is Being Depicted introduction. The setting also helps the audience to understand why Mrs. Wright was fond of her bird as the bird gave her life and happiness. In the play, Mrs. Hale said: “come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and-fluttery” (Glaspell). Mrs. Wright’s cheerfulness, beauty, and carefree spirit back then were metaphorically compared to a bird. “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir,” said Mrs. Hale (Glaspell). In that remark, Mrs. Hale compared Mrs. Wright’s colorful clothes to the bird’s pretty feathers. Mrs. Wright also sang in the choir just like the birds singing in groups. However, after her marriage to Mr. Wright, she started to withdraw from her previous energetic activities maybe because she was possibly oppressed by her husband. The bird cage also symbolizes the secluded life of Minnie or Mrs. Wright. She started to live in isolation with her husband and farmland when she got married. She rarely went out and indulged herself in outdoor activities. The preserved fruit, nicely designed sewing box, and empty bird cage also mirror Mrs. Wright’s domestic and creative character. Most importantly, they were especially helpful to Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters in tracing the truth behind the murder case. The sewing box, which revealed Mrs. Wright’s unfinished quilt, suggested that she was a creative person and helped the audience understand why she was capable of such crafty and detailed murder.


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The play “Trifle” takes place in a single setting: the home of a murdered man and his wife. The dialogue begins with men and women approaching the crime scene to investigate a murder case and find evidences to determine the murderer. As the only one at home, Mrs. Wright is initially accused as the suspect, but they need to undergo standard legal procedures. Besides, they find no apparent reason to suspect Mrs. Wright. The conflict starts when the men and the women, including Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, perceive the crime in different perspectives. The men in the play approached the Wright house as a crime scene while the women who accompanied them during the investigation approached the house as a home. The women took notice of even the little details in the home that the men ignored and refused to acknowledge as possible evidence. The men thought that such things would not give them any clues to solve the case. They forgot that their primary suspect was a woman. They ignored Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters and paid attention to things that seemed meaningless. They overlooked the small and domestic things that may be related to a woman and a wife that may significantly give them idea and evidence against Mrs. Wright. This prolongs the solving of the case a little longer.

On the other hand, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale intricately and naturally observed the things at home. Their intuition, sensitivity, curiosity were significant in the story. The men attempted to solve the crime through logic and standard legal procedures, but the women who went there were able to read between the lines. They saw the clues embedded in domestic items that were specific to women. Although Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters did not know Mrs. Wright on a personal level, they could relate to her. They can put themselves in Mrs. Wright’s shoes and understand the background of the case which helped them solve the mystery of the case. Initially, the women made an agreement to conceal their discovery first because they sympathized with Mrs. Wright. They knew that if the men learned about it, they will no doubt take Mrs. Wright to prison because that is how the law works in the story. In contrast, the women in this case were overcome by their emotion. Their sensitivity and curiosity made them solve the case. Thus, Glaspell depicted women in her play in a positive light.




















Work Cited:

Glaspell, Susan. “Trifles”. Virginia Commonwealth University online. 10 Jan. 09



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