What is the evidence in Trifles?

The evidence that establishes Mrs. Wright's motive to kill her husband are the small "trifles" the women discover in her kitchen which include the stale bread, erratic stitching, broken birdcage, and deceased canary.

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In Susan Glaspell's play Trifles, several neighbors enter the Wrights' farmhouse to investigate the murder of John Wright, and Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters end up discovering significant evidence which reveals Mrs. Wright's motive to kill her husband. The county attorney, sheriff, and neighboring farmer are the three male characters in the play, who lead the investigation of the farmhouse and arrogantly dismiss the women's findings. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters join them to collect some of Mrs. Wright's possessions to bring to her in jail. While the men search the upstairs and farmhouse, the women gradually begin discovering small yet significant pieces of evidence which point to a motive. The first pieces of evidence the women notice in the Wright kitchen are the dirty towels, messy table, and stale bread that has been left out. These items suggest that Mrs. Wright was emotionally unstable or significantly distracted.

Mrs. Hale then notices that Mrs. Wright's stitches are erratic in her quilt and attempts to fix it. Mrs. Peters then discovers a birdcage with a broken hinge before she finds Mrs. Wright's deceased canary inside her sewing box. After finding these significant pieces of evidence, the women recognize that Mrs. Wright had a difficult, oppressed homelife and was a victim of abuse. The women also realize that Mrs. Wright strangled her husband after he murdered her innocent canary. These small pieces of evidence are what the men consider "trifles," which seem insignificant and trivial but are actually important in establishing a motive. Although Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters recognize that Mrs. Wright is guilty, they sympathize with her and decide to conceal the evidence before the men return.

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