How and why Mrs Peters seems to change her mind and ideas over moral course of Susan Glaspell's play Trifles

echesla | Student

Early in the play, Mrs. Peters (the sheriff's wife) tells Mrs. Hale, "the law is the law." After the men mock them for discussing Mrs. Wright's quilting technique, the women gather a few things for Mrs. Wright and discover the broken bird cage. They discuss how lonely Mrs. Wright must have been, how much she must have loved the bird, and how "she was kind of like a bird herself." They decide to take her the quilt, and, searching for her quilting supplies, they find the dead bird. They realize Mr. Wright not only killed the bird; he killed Mrs. Wright's spirit. They know they've discovered the motive and the story that would convict Mrs. Wright for her husband's murder, but Mrs. Peters, remembering the boy who murdered her kitten and the stillness after her baby died, realizes she understands Mrs. Wright's loneliness and why she did what she did. And though the county attorney reminds Mrs. Peters that she's "married to the law," she and Mrs. Hale silently agree to hide the evidence from the men.

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Trifles

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