Trifles Questions and Answers
by Susan Glaspell

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Why did Mrs. Wright kill her husband?   She killed him over a small bird

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Susan Glaspell's one-act play Trifles examines how men and women communicate with each other. Men are often oblivious to what women are trying to communicate because they consider themselves superior to women. For example, the men in this play constantly denigrate the women for their focus on Minnie Wright's domestic life, but this focus leads Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to an understanding of what has happened. At the same time, the men focus on matters that provide them with no understanding of why John Wright is murdered.

The motive for the crime lies in Minnie Wright's sad and isolated life. This isolation is imposed by her hard and silent husband. When he kills her canary, he is figuratively killing her contact with her past self—a woman full of life and song.

She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that, oh, was thirty years ago.

This foreshadows the change that Minnie Wright undergoes as the wife of a...

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Mrs. Wright killed her husband because he killed the canary which represented her. The canary was a symbol of what Mrs. Wright used to be a singer.