Trifles 2020 (1).pdf - Triufb02es Notes Compiled by Dr Raj...

This preview shows page 1 - 11 out of 35 pages.

Trifles Notes Compiled by Dr. Raj Morgan Veerappan
Type of Play One-act, American 19 th century drama 2
The “Real” Murder Early in the morning of Dec. 2, 1900, John Hossack was killed in his bed by two blows to the head from an axe. His wife, Margaret, claimed to have slept through it. She was arrested for murder on the day of the funeral, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. However, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the life sentence, and a second trial resulted in a hung jury, so she went free. Susan Glaspell, who wrote "Trifles" was one of the only female reporters who covered the trial, and she used the Hossack murder as a loose inspiration for the play. There is a book called Midnight Assassin that discusses the real case, and if you are interested, it’s a fascinating read.
The Hossack Family, 1892 John (the man who was murdered) and Margaret (his wife, accused of the murder) are seated. The others are their children. This photograph was taken eight years before the murder.
Susan Glaspell’s Article on the Hossack Case As a reporter for The Des Moines News, our “Trifles” author was one of the first to report on the crime, as well as one of the only female journalists covering the crime. The Hossack murder was extremely sensationalized. It gained national attention, and every major newspaper in the country was paying attention to it. What do you think it was about this murder that grabbed the country’s attention?
Trifles - Title of the play What are the connotations of the word “trifles”? What are the “trifles” to which the title refers? How do these “trifles” advance the play’s plot?
Plot Structure
Trifles Trifles is a murder mystery that explores gender relationships, power relationship between the sexes, and the nature of truth. In the play, Mr. and Mrs Wright never appear; instead, the story focuses on the prosecutor, George Henderson , who has been called in to investigate the murder; Henry Peters , the local sheriff; Lewis Hale , a neighboring farmer who discovered Wright's body; and Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale , wives to the two local men.
Summary The sheriff Henry Peters and the county attorney George Henderson arrive with the witness Lewis Hale, Mrs. Peters, and Mrs. Hale at John Wright's farmhouse. The police are investigating Wright's murder . Lewis Hale mentions how he discovered Mrs. Wright acting strangely, as she told him that her husband was murdered while she was sleeping. Although a gun had been in the house, Wright was gruesomely strangled with a rope.
Men accuse women for worrying about trifles instead of about the case. But Henderson allows the women to collect some items for Mrs. Wright.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture