Trifles Characters
by Susan Glaspell

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Trifles Characters

The main characters in Trifles are Minnie Wright, George Henderson, Sheriff Henry Peters, Lewis Hale, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peters. 

  • Minnie Wright is a woman accused of killing her husband, John Wright. The women investigating her home uncover evidence that suggests Minnie was abused.
  • George Henderson is the county attorney who will prosecute Minnie for murder.
  • Sheriff Henry Peters is leading the investigation into John's murder.
  • Lewis Hale is the neighbor who discovered John Wright's death.
  • Mrs. Hale is Lewis Hale's wife. She empathizes with Minnie and conceals the evidence of Minnie's crime.
  • Mrs. Peters is the sheriff's wife, who helps Mrs. Hale hide the evidence.

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(Drama for Students)

Lewis Hale

Lewis Hale is a farmer and neighbor of the Wright family. A straightforward, honest man, Hale is a bit rough around the edges from the harsh life of a rural farmer.

Hale was the first to discover John’s murder when he stopped by the Wright’s farmhouse to interest them in sharing a telephone line. He is slow to judgment and hesitant to suggest that Minnie may have been involved somehow.

Mrs. Hale

Mrs. Hale is the wife of Lewis. At first timid, she eventually commits what she thinks is a justifi- able crime: a conspiracy to conceal evidence from a murder investigation.

Mrs. Hale accompanies her husband to the crime scene to gather items for the imprisoned Minnie. As the men search the house for clues, however, Mrs. Hale gets frustrated with their patronizing attitude; she understands and empathizes with Minnie’s isolation and alienation. In their youth, she was friends with Minnie, who was then a vivacious and interesting girl. She knew Minnie was isolated and probably lonely after her marriage; moreover, she noticed her change into a drab, quiet woman as the years passed.

Of the two women in the play, Mrs. Hale seems to be the more observant and more prone to action. It is she who notices most of the clues first—the bread left outside the box, the hasty quilt stitching, and the dead canary in Mrs. Wright’s sewing kit. She is the one who suggests that John was an unhappy, abusive man who may have deserved his fate.

Ultimately, it is Mrs. Hale who hides the dead canary—evidence suggesting a motive for the crime—in her coat pocket to prevent the men from finding it.

George Henderson

George Henderson is the attorney that will eventually prosecute Minnie. He is younger than the other characters; accordingly, he is more brash, sarcastic, and foolish. When questioning Hale about John’s murder he misses important details.

Unlike Hale and Peters, Henderson is quick to make judgments. At the end...

(The entire section is 576 words.)