"Trifles" is about gender difference and inequality in early 20th century rural USA. How is this theme dramatized through the roller towel and broken jam jar, and what does the title itself mean?
The title "trifles" refers to domestic matters or concerns that the men consider insignificant and funny. Ironically, these trifles have a profound impact on life, death, and judgment in the play. They reveal the shape of the pathetic life of the Wrights, and also the events leading up to the murder. The men’s mocking attitude and the women’s sensitivity to trifles underscore the basic distinctions in the play.
The roller trowel and broken jar are true trifles, but to the two women investigators, they underscore Minnie Wright's character as a person who loved to do her own canning and baking, things the husband would never tolerate.
trifle - An English dessert made from a mixture of thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, jelly and whipped cream; An insignificant amount; A detail or thing of little importance or worth; A particular kind of pewter; utensils made from this particular kind of pewter; To deal with something as if it were ...