What is the rising action in the play Trifles by Susan Glaspell?

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As others have said, the rising action occurs as Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters explore the kitchen area of the house with the observant female eyes of fellow rural housewives who grow, because of what they see, to have increasingly more empathy for Mrs. Wright. As the action rises, the...

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As others have said, the rising action occurs as Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters explore the kitchen area of the house with the observant female eyes of fellow rural housewives who grow, because of what they see, to have increasingly more empathy for Mrs. Wright. As the action rises, the two women imagine how lonely life must have been for the isolated Minnie Wright. Mrs. Hale remembers how vivacious Minnie once was and now regrets not having visited her more often to check up on how she was doing.

Mrs. Peters has a harder time empathizing, as she is a newcomer who never knew Minnie, but as the evidence unfolds, she is able to find more and more parallels between Minnie's life of isolation and loss and her own. While the men dismiss Minnie as a poor housewife—and miss the evidence that Minnie killed her husband—the two women realize that the Minnie was a careful housewife whose now somewhat-messy kitchen is an indication that she snapped.

As others have noted, the climatic point comes when the women discover the dead canary tenderly wrapped up—its neck wrung—and realize what pushed Minnie over the edge.

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In a play or a work of fiction, most of the action of the story comprises the rising action. Before the rising action, we have the exposition, where the characters, setting, and conflict are typically established. The rising action includes all of the plot events in the story that lead to the climax, which is the most dramatic moment of the play, story, or novel. Thereafter, the falling action and denouement wrap up the story fairly quickly.

In Trifles, the rising action includes the part of the play in which Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are exploring and observing Mrs. Wright's home. The women have been brought along with their husbands to this active crime scene where Mr. Wright was recently murdered; the men are seeking evidence of a motive, while the women are tasked with collecting some items to bring to Mrs. Wright at the jail. As they go about their duty, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters see the kitchen task that was left unfinished by Mrs. Wright: she did not finish putting away her preserves, and they will now be spoiled. The women sympathize because they know how much work went into this domestic task. They also notice Mrs. Wright's stitching, which looks very nice except for a flawed stitch at the end. Mrs. Peters actually corrects the stitch, which amounts to tampering with evidence. The women decide to bring Mrs. Wright some sewing supplies, and when trying to find them, they come across the dead bird. This marks the climax and thus ends the rising action. The climax reveals Mrs. Wright's motive and illustrates the women's sympathy for her, leading to their decision to hide the evidence and refrain from telling their husbands what they've found.

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The plot of any piece of literature consists of the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. The exposition offers background information and an introduction to the characters and conflicts. The rising action is the complication of the events, where the conflicts become more involved. The climax is the most intense moment of the story, and the falling action is what happens after the climax. Denouement ties up any loose ends and clarifies any events.

The climax of this story is when the two women find the dead bird and realize that John Wright had broken its neck, taking away from Minnie the only joy she had in her sad life. The exposition starts at the beginning of the play, giving us the background of how John Wright's body was discovered and how they found Minnie sitting in her rocking chair. The rising action begins when the men go to look for "important" clues upstairs, leaving the two women in the kitchen.

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