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Published by Sheqin Shomey

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Published by: Sheqin Shomey on Nov 16, 2012
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Analyze the play „Trifles‟ by Susan Glaspell. Your analysis should focus on
characterization, conflicts and setting.
„Trifles‟ is one of 
the Susan Glaspell famous play which was published in the 19thcentury. She chose to write about the inequality of the sexes and the inability of womento live their own lives without relying on the men in her writing. It is a kind of exposition to the new ways of thinking of the society because during that time in UnitedState, males dominated all aspects of life except for caring for children and homewhereas women had not been granted for their works. T
heir domain‟s is limited to the
home and primarily the children.
From the title itself „Trifles‟, symbolize men dismiss
women as unimportant. It is a murder mystery and searching the nature of truth. Thetheme of this play tell us about the strong power that man possesses can control thewomen and isolate them from independence and freedom.
From the „Trifles‟, we can see th
ere are number of characterization in differentcharacters. One of them is round character. Round character means character with a depthand complexity in her life. Besides, there is also a dynamic character, a character whomchanges as a result of conflicts. In this play for example, Mrs. Wright has both roundand dynamic characters. Mrs. Wright or as known as Minnie Foster before she gotmarried, is the wife of Mr. Wright whom had been strangled to death while he slept.Mrs. Wright is a woman who was once young, pretty and outgoing. She was morecheerful in her youth. Her clothes were more cheerful and she loves to sing. Mrs. Haletold Mrs. Peter:
“I wish you‟d seen Minnie Foster 
when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons andstood there in the choir and sang.But she falls in a loveless marriage with a stern, anti-social farmer, Mr. Wright. As aresult of the gloom of her surroundings and her husband dispassion toward her, she livesin isolation, cause her to the brink of insanity. She just sticks with a caged song birdand brightly colored quilting to fending off her depression in her life. Her character had
changed as a result of the conflicts she had suffered in her life. Mrs. Hale describes herto Mrs. Peter:
“Wright was close. I think maybe that‟s why she kept so much to herself. She didn‟t
even belong to the La
dies Aid. I suppose she felt she couldn‟t do her part, and thenyou don‟t enjoy things when you feel shabby. She used to wear pretty clothes and be
lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. Butthat
 —oh, that was thirty years ago.”
come to think of it, she was kind of like bird herself 
real sweet and pretty, butkind of timid and
fluttery. How
 Apart from that, there are also
flat character in „Trifles‟
. Flat character means thecharacter embodies one or two qualities. For instance is Mr. Wright. He was known as
a good man. He didn‟
t drink, trustable and had no debts. But, he also had beendescribed as an anti-social, a hard and cold man. Mr. Hale told County Attorney:
“I spoke to Wright about it once before and he put me off, saying folks talked too
much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet
I guess you know about howmuch he talked himself, but I thought maybe if I went to the house and talked about it
 before his wife, though I said to Harry that I didn‟t know as what his wife wanted
made much difference
to John”
 Another evidence is when Mrs. Hale describes John Wright (Mr. Wright) to Mrs. Peter:
“Yes—good; he didn‟t drink, and kept his word as well as most, I guess, and paid his
debts. But he was a hard man, Mrs. Peter. Just to pass the time of day with him
] Like a raw wind that gets to the bone.”
Other characters that can be found in „Trifles‟ is static character. Static character 
means character who does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of thestory. For example is County Attorney. He started the play as a coroner whominvestigates the murder case and end up the play still investigating the case. CountyAttorney told Mr. Peters:
“No, Peters, it‟s all perfectly clear except a reason for doing it. But you know juries
when it comes to women. If there was some definite thing. Something to show
something to make a story about
a thing that would connect up with this strange wayof doing it--
 County Attorney told the Sheriff:
“I‟m going to stay here a while by myself. You can send Frank out for me, can‟t you?I want to go over everything. I‟m
not satisfied that we can‟t do better.”
The next analysis is about conflic
ts in „Trifles‟
. Conflicts are sort of difficulty
that the characters encounter in their life. The first conflict in „Trifles‟ is man vs. man. It
is about the struggle between two or more individuals. For example, the conflict betweenmen and women, the difference of gender. Men happens to be more aggressive,analytical, rough, self-centered and dominating the women, contrast with the women whoare more lenient, circumspect, intuitive and sensitive to the needs of others. Womenwere described as unimportant and just like slaves. Their roles limited to the childrenand home only. For example
in „Trifles‟
men characters don‟t respect women and tend
to speak harshly to them. The conversation between County Attorney and Sheriff:
COUNTY ATTORNEY: I guess we‟ll go upstairs first— 
and then out to the barn and
around there. You‟re convinced that there was nothing important here— 
nothing thatwould point to any motive.SHERIFF: Nothing here but kitchen things.It shows the feminist criticism as a symbol of to minimize the importance of women insociety. The men also criticize Mrs. Wrights skills of housekeeping and irking Mrs. Haleand Mrs. Peter.
MRS. HALE: Those towels get dirty awful quick. Men‟s hands aren‟t always as clean as
they might be.COUNTY ATTORNEY: Ah, loyal to your sex, I see. But you and Mrs. Wright wereneighbors. I suppose you were friends, too.Apart from that, there are also conflicts on man vs. himself. It is about theinternal struggl
e concerning emotion and decision in character. In „Trifles‟
, Mrs. Hale hasthis kind of conflicts against herself. She wonders if Mrs. Wright is really the murdererof her own husband, Mr. Wright and that become the conflicts in herself. Mrs. Haletalks to Mrs. Peter:MRS. HALE: Do you think she did it?
MRS. PETER: Oh, I don‟t know.
MRS. HALE: Well, I don‟t think she did it. Asking for an apron and her little shawl.
Worrying about her fruit.Last but not least is conflicts man vs. nature. It is about the external struggle
 between man and element of nature. For instance, in „Trifles‟ Mrs. Wright encounter this
conflicts with the environment around her. She is so lonely as her house is isolated. Shealso had no child and no companion even with her husband except for the caged singing

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