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Trifles justification of hiding evidence


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Analysis of 'Trifles' by Susan Glaspell - justification of hiding evidences

Analysis of 'Trifles' by Susan Glaspell - justification of hiding evidences

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  • 2. WHY THE WOMEN HIDE THE EVIDENCES? • The attorney and sheriff decide that there is nothing important in the room ‚Nothing here but kitchen things.‛ • This line is shows that men minimize the importance of women in society. • The men criticize Mrs. Wright’s housekeeping skills, annoy Mrs. Hale and the sheriff’s wife, Mrs. Peters.
  • 3. • The men exit, heading upstairs to investigate the crime scene. • The women remain in the kitchen. • Chatting to pass the time, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters notice vital details that the men would not care about:
  • 4. THE EVIDENCES FOUND • Ruined fruit preserves. • Bread that has been left out of its box. • An unfinished quilt. • A half clean / half messy table top. • An empty bird cage.
  • 5. • Unlike the men who are looking for forensic evidence to solve the crime, the women in observe clues that reveal the bleakness of Mrs. Wright’s emotional life. • They theorize that Mr. Wright’s cold, oppressive nature must have been dreary to live with. • Mrs. Hale comments about Mrs. Wright being childless: ‚not having children makes less work – but it makes a quiet house.‛ • To the women, they are simply trying to pass the awkward moments with civil conversation. • But to the audience, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters unveil a psychological profile of a desperate housewife.
  • 6. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BIRD? • When gathering up the quilting material, they discover a fancy little box. • Inside, wrapped in silk is a dead canary. • Its neck has been wrung. • The implication is that Minnie’s husband did not like the canary’s beautiful song (a symbol of his wife’s desire for freedom and happiness). • So, Mr. Wright busted the cage door and strangled the bird.
  • 7. • Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters do not tell the men about their discovery. • Instead, Mrs. Hale puts the box with the deceased bird into her coat pocket – resolving not to tell the men about this little ‚trifle‛ they have uncovered. • The play ends with the characters exiting the kitchen and the women announcing that they have determined Mrs. Wright’s quilt making style. ‚She ‘knots it’ instead of ‚quilts it‛ (a play with words denoting the way in which she killed her husband)
  • 9. • The era that this play is set in occurred long before women had hardly any rights. • These two women knew that the punishment that Mrs. Wright would receive would not be a simple slap on the wrist. • She had killed her husband. Not only that, but she had killed a MAN. • The courts probably never would have believed her story about the treatment that she suffered living with john wright. • But these two women knew that she had suffered and they did not want her to suffer any longer by revealing evidence to the police that could further implicate Mrs. Wright as the murderer.
  • 10. MRS. HALE’S REASON.. • Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale both keep the evidence that have found from the men to protect Mrs. Wright but for different reasons. • Mrs. Hale feels guilty for never visiting Mrs. Wright much. • She admits that she didn't because the place was not "cheerful". She describes the house as a "lonesome place" but admits, that is all the more reason that she should have visited her childhood friend.
  • 11. MRS. PETERS’ REASON.. • Mrs. Peters believes that Minnie probably did kill her husband not only because she was driven to it. • The dead bird reminds her of when a boy had once killed her cat when she was young. She recalls that if no one would have held her back that she would have "hurt" him. • She also can sympathize with the stillness of the house, having lost her first baby, and how it would affect a woman. • The men would undoubtedly laugh at the thought of Mrs. Peters trying to explain this to them and she knew it so she kept it to herself.
  • 12. CONCLUSION • Both women wanted to protect Minnie (Mrs. Wright) but each had their own motives.