Trifles Questions and Answers
by Susan Glaspell

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What contrast can be perceived between Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters in Trifles?

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Mrs. Hale's larger frame reflects her bolder personality.  She is much more outspoken than the smaller, timid Mrs. Peters.  Mrs. Hale shows that she has little problem standing up against the injustices toward her gender and the institutional sexism that permeates the culture.  For example, as the murder is investigated, the County Attorney comments on the lack of cheer in the house, referring to Mrs. Wright by saying "I shouldn't say she had the homemaking instinct," Mrs. Hale replies with "Well, I don't know as Wright had, either."  Here she makes it clear that she believes it is not up to the woman to create the atmosphere of a home, but rather it was the duty of both Mr. and Mrs. Wright to work to create a place of happiness.

Mrs. Peters, on the other hand, begins the play as a very timid woman.  She is defined by her role as the wife of the sheriff, and she fulfills this role dutifully.  For example: at one point Mrs. Hale notices that pattern of stitching left behind by Mrs....

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