Susan Glaspell’s Trifles: How Dramatic Irony Provides an Extra Dimension to the Mystery and Show Examples of What We as the Audience Know That Some Characters Do Not
They discover the dead canary and note that someone appears to have broken its neck. The women know how much Mrs. Wright loved the bird, so they and the audience should make the assumption that Mr. Wright killed it. This deduction together with the other evidence of Mrs. Wright's growing instability (like the terrible sewing) lead the women and audience to believe in Mrs. Wright's guilt and the reason she killed her husband. This situation represents dramatic irony because the sheriff and county attorney remain oblivious to these clues, so the audience knows more than they do about the crime.
In “Trifles,” County Attorney George Henderson, Sheriff Henry Peters and local farmer Lewis Hale are blinded by their assumption that women concern themselves with only trifling things and are not intelligent. In reality, it is they who trifle about Minnie Wright's housekeeping, while Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale solve the mystery of why Minnie Wright killed her husband. As a final twist, the two women end up identifying with Minnie Wright’s abuse at the hands of her husband and feel the murder was justified. They then conspire to conceal the truth from their ignorant husbands and the county attorney.
Hale. He knows that the perpetrator is within but is having a hard time piecing the pieces together. Gabriel Match should therefore approach the role with seriousness and the desire to get the job done. In addition, he should be on the lookout for the reactions of the suspects, as with keenness an individual will be in a position to identify who is truly behind the crime.