What lines in the play characterize Mrs. Hale's reaction to the men's behavior and attitudes? What line characterizes Mrs. Peters's reaction to the men early in the play, and what line shows their feelings changing later in the play? What might account for the two women's initial differences and their evolving solidarity with Mrs. Wright?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles , Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are both married women who apparently do not have jobs outside the home, but they are different in several notable aspects: their background, age, and length of residence in the community. Throughout the course of the play, the...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are both married women who apparently do not have jobs outside the home, but they are different in several notable aspects: their background, age, and length of residence in the community. Throughout the course of the play, the similarities come to seem more important than the differences, which had initially led them to notice different things and to interpret those items differently as well. Ultimately, through combining their resources, the two women come to a joint conclusion that is different from that of the men.

Mrs. Hale and her husband, Lewis, are the Wrights’ neighbors and long-term residents of the area. Lewis is the person who discovered John Wright’s body. She remembers Minnie Wright from their younger days, when Minnie was bright and lively. In contrast, Mrs. Peters and her husband, Henry, who is the sheriff, have moved there more recently. Although she is a relative stranger, she empathizes with Minnie’s situation, because she herself had felt lonely while living on a remote Dakota homestead. Both women share experiences in domestic matters, such as canning preserves and quilting, and they especially bond over the “dead canary” they find. Realizing that the men would laugh at them for getting worked up "over a little thing" is a shared moment that brings them closer to each other as well as to Minnie.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team