Trifles Questions and Answers
by Susan Glaspell

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Argue whether or not the actions of Minnie Wright were justified in killing her husband in Trifles.

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Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Since readers aren't given the full story of what happened on the night that John Wright was murdered, any argument that justifies or condemns Minnie Wright's actions in strangling her husband in bed must be based on conjecture. Of course, the evidence the men and women find should be taken into account when trying to determine Minnie's guilt or innocence.

One could argue that Minnie's actions were not justified because the killing does not appear to have been done in self-defense, in a moment of imminent physical danger to herself. The way Wright was found suggests that the noose was put around his neck while he slept and that there was no struggle. If Minnie did feel threatened by her husband, as suggested by the killed bird, she could have escaped while he slept instead of murdering him.

To argue that Minnie was justified in killing her husband, one would need to argue that she was left with no alternative—that either he had to die or she would die. It seems evident from the clues...

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