Trifles Questions and Answers
by Susan Glaspell

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Compare and contrast Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters in the drama Trifles.

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Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are physically contrasted in the stage directions at the beginning of the play. Mrs. Hale is larger and, ordinarily, more comfortable looking, whereas Mrs. Peters is slight and wiry with “a thin nervous face.” These differences are reflected in the characters of the two women. Mrs. Peters is more observant and, initially, more aligned with her husband’s investigation, observing that “the law is the law” when Mrs. Hale expresses doubts about searching the house for evidence. Mrs. Hale is more sympathetic, identifying herself immediately with Mrs. Wright and her interests, thinking how she would feel if the men invaded her kitchen, “snooping around and criticizing.”

The similarities between two women, however, are far more significant than their differences. This is particularly true of the way their thoughts and sympathies quickly come to coincide. They think similarly to each other and (a further bond between them) to the absent Mrs. Wright, which...

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