What is the play Trifles'  denouement?



Asked on

1 Answer | Add Yours

scarletpimpernel's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

At the play's end, after the county attorney and sheriff have continued making demeaning remarks about women, the sheriff asks the attorney if he needs to check what Mrs. Peters is taking from the crime scene, and the attorney flippantly replies that it cannot be anything dangerous or significant. When the men leave the room, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale make eye contact and silently agree that they will smuggle out the evidence of Minnie's dead bird (the motive for Minnie's murdering her husband). Glaspell writes in her stage directions that

"Mrs. Hale snatches the box [containing the dead bird] and puts it in the pocket of her big coat"

just before the men reenter the room. The attorney makes another joke about the trifles with which women concern themselves--such as quilting, and Mrs. Hale tells the attorney that it's not "quilting"; it's knotting (her subtle reference to Minnie's strangling her husband with a rope).

The denouement is significant because the women get the upper hand over the chauvinist law enforcement officials and decide to defy traditional gender roles by protecting Minnie Wright.


We’ve answered 396,997 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question