"Trifles" is a one-act play by Susan Glaspell. Her short story, "A Jury of Her Peers", was adapted from the play a year after its debut. It was first performed by the Provincetown Players at the Wharf Theatre in Provincetown, Massachusetts on August 8, 1916. It is loosely based on the murder of John Hossack, which Glaspell covered while working as a news journalist for the Daily News.

Today "Trifles" is seen as an example of early feminist drama, because two female characters are able to solve a mystery that the male characters cannot, aided by their knowledge of women's psychology. It is frequently anthologized in American literature textbooks.


* George Henderson, the County Attorney (originally played by Michael Hulgan)
* Henry Peters, Sheriff (originally played by Robert Conville)
* Lewis Hale, A neighboring farmer (originally played by George Cram Cook)
* Mrs. Peters, the Sheriff's wife (originally played by Alice Hall)
* Mrs. Hale (originally played by Susan Glaspell) and played by Kim Base


The play begins with three men and two women entering into the Wrights' farm house. They are Mr. Hale, a neighboring farmer, and his wife, Mrs. Hale; a sheriff, Mr. Peters, and his wife; and the county attorney, Mr. Henderson. Mr. Hale describes his arrival at the house the previous day, when he visited to ask if the Wrights wanted a telephone installed. He describes how he came upon Mrs. Wright rocking in her chair. Mrs. Wright told Hale that Mr. Wright was dead, with a rope slipped around his head. Hale then describes finding Mr. Wright's body upstairs.

The kitchen is in an unkempt state, pots, bread, and other kitchen items scattered about. Mrs. Wright's preserves have frozen and cracked, as Mrs. Peters says Mrs. Wright had worried about, this being one of the "trifles" that women are prone to worrying about. Hale dismisses Mrs. Peters' comment, saying, "Well, women are used to worrying over trifles." The men go upstairs to investigate the scene and the women continue to go through things and discuss Mrs. Wright. The men come back down and go outside to the barn. Then Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale find quilting that Mrs. Wright was working on, and a bird cage. They wonder if there was a bird until, upon looking for sewing supplies to take back to Mrs. Wright they stumble upon a small box, and inside is the bird, with its neck wrung. At the end the women hide the box with the bird from the men to save Mrs. Wright from being found out. The audience is left to understand that Mr. Wright had been abusive, and his killing of the bird had pushed Mrs. Wright over the edge.:County Attorney: Well, Henry, at least we found out that she was not going to quilt it. She was going to—what is it you call it, ladies? :Mrs. Hale: We call it—knot it, Mr. Henderson.

In another opinion, Mrs. Wright is sweet, pretty, sings, timid, and fluttery just like her bird (Mrs. Wright = Bird).When Mr. Wright kills the bird, he killed Mrs. Wright emotionally/mentally making her kill Mr. Wright

External links

* [
* [ Study resource for "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Trifles — (engl., spr. traifls, »Kleinigkeiten, Spielereien«), in England beliebte Mischung von allerlei beliebig zusammengestellten Leckereien, z. B. in Wein getränkter Biskuits, in seinem Likör getränkter Makronen, Zitronat, kandierter Orangenschalen,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Trifles —    This one act drama by Susan Glaspell opened on 8 August 1916 at the Wharf Theatre, the little theatre used by the Prov incetown Players on Cape Cod, after which the Washington Square Players produced it at the Comedy Theatre, where it opened… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • trifles — n. utensils made of trifle (type of pewter) tri·fle || traɪfl n. matter or object of small value or importance; small amount of something; artistic work of no lasting significance; type of pewter; dessert made from sponge cake layered with… …   English contemporary dictionary

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  • Trifles, light as air… — См. Отелло. Trifles, light as air… См. Ревность отрава жизни …   Большой толково-фразеологический словарь Михельсона (оригинальная орфография)

  • lady-trifles — laˈdy trifles plural noun (Shakespeare) Trifles befitting a lady • • • Main Entry: ↑lady …   Useful english dictionary

  • stifler — trifles …   Anagrams dictionary

  • John Nesbitt (acteur) — John Nesbitt est un acteur, producteur et scénariste canadien né le 23 août 1910 à Victoria (Canada), décédé le 10 août 1960 à Carmel (États Unis). Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Filmographie 2.1 comme a …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John nesbitt (acteur) — John Nesbitt est un acteur, producteur et scénariste canadien né le 23 août 1910 à Victoria (Canada), décédé le 10 août 1960 à Carmel (États Unis). Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Filmographie 2.1 …   Wikipédia en Français