Explain the significance of the play's title. Do you think Trifles or "A Jury of Her Peers", Glaspell's title for the short story version of the play, is more appropriate? Can you think of other titles that capture the play's central concerns?

The title "Trifles" refers to the small, trifling pieces of evidence which lead Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to sympathize with Minnie's plight after she appears to have murdered her husband. Both titles are appropriate, and an alternative could have been "The Small Things That Count".

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The title of the play refers to the “trifling” details that the men who enter the Wright’s farmhouse to investigate the murder of John Wright ignore. In their eagerness to find John’s wife, Minnie, guilty of the murder, they overlook these “trifles” which in fact prove her motive for murder....

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The title of the play refers to the “trifling” details that the men who enter the Wright’s farmhouse to investigate the murder of John Wright ignore. In their eagerness to find John’s wife, Minnie, guilty of the murder, they overlook these “trifles” which in fact prove her motive for murder. The small, feminine pieces of evidence they overlook would thus have been extremely valuable to any court of law trying to prove her guilt.

These “trifles” were indicative of Minnie’s unhappiness with her husband and of his abusive nature. The fact that the table has been half cleaned, the finding of a quilt which Minnie has stitched erratically, a broken birdcage, and a dead canary (all of which are trifles) add up to create a clear picture of what really happened and why. Only Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, who had accompanied their husbands to the house in order to get some personal effects to take to Minnie in prison, understand the true relevance of their discoveries.

I think both the play’s title and the title of the short-story version are well suited to the story. The peers referred to in the title “A Jury of Her Peers” were Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. The other women find her “innocent” based on the fact that her late husband was an angry and abusive man.

If I had to come up with an alternative title that summed up the central concerns of this play, I would consider “All Is Not As It Seems” or “The Small Things That Count.”

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