At the end of the story, what wins out-good or evil? In Trifles, Glaspell captures the landscape and the people of the farming community (regionalism). At the same time Glaspell does not shy away from the brutality of this environment and some of it people (realism). At the end of the story, what wins out of good or evil? Seems like a simple question, but the answer is not.

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Rather than good vs. evil, consider this a play which starts as an attempt by good people to resolve an evil event (a killing), but which transforms along the way. The men attempt to apply clear and universal criteria to the crime, and essentially fail. Along the way, the women form a new community and apply their emerging standards of the good. The result is that contextualized good wins out over abstracted, decontextualized good. Good in relationship, as judged by the women, wins out over good in itself.

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