I will be staging a scene from a play entitled “Trifles,” written by Susan Glaspell, where two women partake in a dialogue after their husbands have left the room. In the opening scene, Susan Glaspell introduces the main characters who are, the county attorney named George Henderson, the sheriff named Henry Peters, Mrs. Peters who is the wife of the sheriff, Mrs. Wright who is the wife of a murdered husband, and Mrs. Wright’s neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Hale. The scene that I will be focusing on takes place immediately after the county attorney, the sheriff, and Mr.
Hale go upstairs to search for evidence on a case in which Mrs. Wright’s husband has been murdered. In this scene, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are left alone downstairs in the kitchen area which gives them a chance to bond and share their thoughts without worrying about being heard by the men. In the beginning of the scene the men tell both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to keep their eyes open for anything that might be useful for evidence. After the men leave the women downstairs Mrs. Hale and Mrs.
Peters begin to talk about how much they are bothered by the fact that it seems like the men are sneaking around Mrs. Wright’s house while she’s locked up in town. They also comment on how they do not like the way the men criticize Mrs. Wright’s housekeeping skills, especially since she did not have time to clean up. Soon after, the women notice things that the men don’t. They see that Mrs. Wright had an unfinished bread set, which is an important detail that possibly shows what she was doing before the incident took place.
Towards the end of the scene, Mrs. Hale begins to feel sad that Mrs. Wright’s fruit preserves have went to waste except for one jar. She thinks of how much hard work is put into growing those fruits in the summer time because of the hot weather. The scene then ends with Mrs. Peters exiting the room to retrieve Mrs. Wright’s belongings to take to her in the station downtown. The significance of this scene has to do with the differences between men and women, which is also the main focus of the entire play.
The men within this play betray a sense of arrogance. They present themselves as tough, determined detectives, when in truth they are not as observant as the females. In this particular scene, their arrogant attitude causes the women to feel defensive and form a bond. This scene signifies how the women feel towards the men’s criticism. In addition to signifying the women’s feelings towards the men, this scene also expresses the women’s sympathy towards Mrs. Wright as they discover different trifles in her household.
The trifles in this play that the women see as important, the men criticize. For example, when the sheriff reaches up into the cabinet and comes away with a sticky hand, the women begin to feel sad that Mrs. Wright’s fruit had gone to waste. Rather than the men recognizing all the hard work that went into growing those fruits, they criticize Mrs. Wright’s housekeeping. The difference between men and women is primarily the overall theme of this play, and this scene simply reinforces it.
Courtney from Study Moose
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