Compare Mrs Peters and Mrs Hale in Trifles, in particular based on how they respond to the dead canary.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The central difference between Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale is that Mrs. Peters seems far more willing to do what she feels is the "right" thing to do and to report the evidence of the dead canary to the menfolk whereas Mrs. Hale, on the contrary, sees the canary as further evidence of the way in which Minnie Wright suffered so greatly in marriage, and therefore chooses not to reveal it. However, what is interesting is that even though Mrs. Peters at various points tries to convince Mrs. Hale to reveal the canary, by saying comments such as "The law has got to punish crime, Mrs. Hale," these comments are punctuated by other remarks that show her understanding of the desperate plight of women and the kind of solitude and suffering that Minnie Wright would have experienced:

I know what stillness is. When we homesteaded in Dakota, and my first baby died--after he was two years old and me with no other then--

Mrs. Peters seems therefore to respond automatically to the way she feels she should respond in a male patriarchal world, whereas Mrs. Hale, perhaps because she actually new Minnie, is more willing to automatically leap to the decision of defying such power and concealing the evidence.


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