Discussion for Glaspell’s Trifles
Like Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Glaspell’s play centers on the themes of
a) the failure of people to communicate and having satisfying relationships and
b) the loss of meaning in life and the attempt to recover/find it.
1. Find two passages that relate to the first theme, the failure of people to communicate and having satisfying relationships.
(Hints: The play is about several different relationships, and they all have either failed or Glaspell is hinting to you that the relationship is failing.
Mr. Wright – Mrs. Wright
pretty obvious how and why this relationship failed if you read the play
Henry Peters – Mrs. Peters
Lewis Hale – Mrs. Hale
There are two married couples at the Wrights’ house investigating the murder. The men are looking for standard kinds of evidence (murder weapon, murder scene, etc.) to determine if Mrs. Wright has a motive to have killed her husband. However, the women are looking for more subtle kinds of evidence—things that matter to housewives. The men call those things “trifles,” and they are rather dismissive toward their wives. However, the wives actually find the key evidence and learn the truth behind the killing—but will they communicate it to their husbands? Or will they protect a fellow woman, whose life was diminished by a man?)
2. Find two passages that relate to the second theme, the loss of the meaning in life and the attempt to recover/find it.
Please use the Answer Sandwich method to answer each question. The passages you add to your answer should be around 2-4 sentences long. Please include a page reference.
Keep in mind that I may select any of these questions to be the upcoming quiz question. Also, I use these discussion questions to create the exams and the major paper assignment. So do your best on each question.
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