Susan Glaspell’s Trifles: Why Glaspell's Choice for Trifles Is Such an Appropriate Title
Glaspell hinges this story on a murder story she had to cover as a journalist and this offers the biographical part of it. The historical element of Trifles sprouts from some of the themes presented in this play. Therefore, Trifles is both a biographical and historical play.
Thus, she killed him in retaliation and Mrs. Peters identifies with her situation as she says how lonely she felt when her two-year-old child died and protects hides the evidence in her coat pocket. The two women describe Mr. Wright as a good man. This means that he had a dual character because to the outsiders he appeared as a quiet good husband. Yet Mrs. Hale says that he was a hard man and not pleasant to live with and that is why Mrs. Wright must had bought a bird to keep her company. Even though Mr. Wright did not take alcohol and always kept his word, he was not kind to his wife and did not try to make her life cheerful as he was always out working and mean when at home.
Wright would sing melodiously as a bird during her childhood; however, she bemoans that things changed the moment Mrs. Wright married. She notes that Mr. Wright “first killed the song in her and finally killed the song in her bird” (Glaspell, 1951, p. 14). Loneliness was consuming many women including those who did not face marital strife. For instance, Mrs. Peters painfully recalls, “…we were homesteaders in the Dakota Territory, when our first baby died leaving me alone in the house most of the day while my husband worked outside…” (Glaspell, 1951, p. 18). Glaspell sought to highlight these historical issues that affected women relegating them to insignificant figures in society. This theme offers the historical interpretation of this play.
She wanted justice for the women, and she makes an incredible argument in this play.
Glaspell, S. (1951). Trifles: A Play in One Act. New York; Walter H. Baker.
Godwin, L. (1999). Preface to Fidelity. New York; Persephone Books.
Holstein, S. (2003). Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell’s Trifles. The Midwest Quarterly. 44(2); 282-290.
Reuben, P. (2008). Susan Glaspell. Perspectives in American Literature. Retrieved from;