There are several trifles, or seemingly unimportant details, that are actually very important in helping the reader understand Mrs. Wright's motives for killing her husband. The men investigating the murder do not understand the importance of these apparent trifles, while the women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, do.
One trifle is that Mrs. Wright's preserve jars have exploded, and the women comment that Mrs. Wright had been afraid that the fire would go out and would destroy her preserves. The women understand that the preserves represent a lot of work on Mrs. Wright's part and that she would have been upset to see the jars explode in the cold. The women also find a quilt that Mrs. Wright was making. An earlier example of her work shows that she was very neat, but she then became messy in her work, showing that she was distraught.
The final "trifle" is revealed when the women find a bird cage with its door thrust open. They then find the bird, its neck twisted, wrapped in silk in a box. They hide the dead bird from the men investigating the crime, as they believe that Mrs. Wright's dead bird provided her with a motive to kill her husband.
Because Susan Glaspell's play "Trifles", is a mystery, it is trifles, or small details that reveal the most about what happened before the opening of the play.
First, we note the broken jars of jam and jelly . The male characters dismiss this detail as trivial, but the women seem to understand its significance, a point thematically important for the handling of gender in the play. Similarly, the change in clothing style and external manners, also a form of "trifle", of Minnie suggests that she was abused as a wife.
Other trifles are the awkward quilting and messy housekeeping.