In Trifles, what is a description of the county attorney?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George Henderson, the County Attorney, is younger than the other men, but seems to have a good reputation. When the men join together in their general mockery of "women's issues," he make an effort to stand up for them, but his good intentions are quickly undone by his own prejudices.

COUNTY ATTORNEY: [With the gallantry of a young politician.] And yet, for all their worries, what would we do without the ladies? [The women do not unbend.] [...] Dirty towels! [Kicks his foot against the pans under the sink.] Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?
(Glaspell, Trifles,

He still has room to learn, but he wants to impress the older men and so he joins in with their mocking. In fact, he is the one to entirely miss the importance of the change in Minnie's sewing; he hears the Sheriff making fun of the quilt and echoes the same joke later. Despite this, he is less mocking than the older men, mostly because he is genuinely trying to investigate; it is more his blindness to women's issues than his own competence that sabotages his efforts to find the truth.

avira | Student

Mr. Henderson is just like any stereotypical “Over-achiever Young Man” which usually potrayed in many cop shows, one who just did their job and did not think of anything else other than keeping their job and reputation intact. At the beginning of the story, Mr. Henderson was briefly potrayed as potential protagonist-sidekick or even the protagonist because of his lines. He also seemed like a man of the job when he keep his question and facts he gathered by interrupting Mr. Hale and Sheriff's narration which are longer than necessary and mostly filled with self-importance undertones in the beginning of the story. While it was partially true as Mr. Henderson did not really show any noteworthy traits other than honest breadwinner of the family, the story progressed and pointed out his flaws as sexist and while it did not have any huge impact to the story merely in the manner of his speech and behavior, it also played the part of the first conflict when they (Him and Sheriff) met Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. His remark towards women are only best at housekeeping from

And yet, for all their worries, what would we do without the ladies? ......dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?”

did destroyed our perceptions that he was just like any protagonist-sidekick archetypal.

All in all, he was a problematic character and cannot be labeled as protagonist or antagonist, but we can use the term of supporting and flat. Mr. Henderson as supporting character were already addressed above and he as flat character because while the viewer just realized his true demeanor, he did not experience any changes that could be an impact to his character development.

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