In Susan Glaspell's one-act play Trifles, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters arrive at the Wright homestead alongside their husbands to gather several of Minnie's belongings while she sits in jail for the murder of her husband. As Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters's husbands conduct their investigation, the women discover several important clues which reveal Minnie's motive. The women examine her unusually untidy kitchen, take note of Minnie's erratic stitching, discover a broken birdcage, and find a dead canary in Minnie's sewing box. Once the women discover the dead canary, they are convinced that Minnie's husband broke its neck, which was the final straw that motivated her to take his life.
As the women carry out their informal investigation, Mrs. Hale reveals that Minnie dramatically changed after marrying John Wright, who was a callous, abusive man. Minnie stopped singing in the choir, stopped dressing in bright colors, and experienced a secluded, difficult life on the farm. The women sympathize with Minnie's oppressive marriage, and Mrs. Peters understands what it is like to have a beloved pet threatened or killed. Mrs. Peters also lost her children while living in the desolate Dakota countryside and is aware of the pain and loneliness Minnie felt. After the women analyze the "trifles," they recognize that Minnie killed her husband to escape her abusive, oppressive marriage. Once John killed her beloved canary, Mrs. Wright could not contain her rage and murdered him in his sleep. Although murder is never justified, the women sympathize with Minnie and decide to conceal the important clues.