Trifles Questions and Answers
by Susan Glaspell

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Minnie Wright is the main character in Trifles, so why does Glaspell keep her offstage?

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Minnie Wright is kept offstage because she functions more as a thematic centerpiece of the play than a dynamic character. We do not need to know anything about her individual personality and quirks. In fact, these forms of humanization would detract from the overall theme of oppression and the feminist lens through which we the readers view it. We need only know her history.

The action of the play is centered around the murder of Mr. Wright and the suspicion of the town's court attorney, sheriff, and a neighbor of the Wrights. As they search with cold calculation, the wives of the sheriff and the neighbor discover what the men could not, Minnie's beloved pet bird. It has had its neck broken, presumably by the late Mr. Wright, causing Minnie to snap. Understanding male oppression all too well, the wives hide the evidence.

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Minnie Wright is kept offstage because the audience is intended to wonder at her actions. The audience is not sure if or why Mrs. Wright killed...

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aggiemasaniai | Student

Your question is why does Glaspell keep Minnie Wright off stage if that is her main character?

Minnie Wright is not on stage because she is in jail. The setting is in her house after the arrest has taken place and John Wright's body  remains upstairs.

Although she is the main character, she is not physically on stage.

I don't know why Glaspell keeps Minnie Wright off stage other than it adds a bit of depth to the story - meaning she is not there to defend herself, but the audience is there to piece it together.