Which title is more appropriate for Glaspell's play, Trifles or "A Jury of Her Peers"? Can you suggest alternatives?

Quick answer:

The title "Trifles" refers to the small, trifling pieces of evidence which lead Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to sympathize with Minnie's plight after she appears to have murdered her husband. Both titles are appropriate, and an alternative could have been "The Small Things That Count".

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The title of the play refers to the “trifling” details that the men who enter the Wright’s farmhouse to investigate the murder of John Wright ignore. In their eagerness to find John’s wife, Minnie, guilty of the murder, they overlook these “trifles” which in fact prove her motive for murder. The small, feminine pieces of evidence they overlook would thus have been extremely valuable to any court of law trying to prove her guilt.

These “trifles” were indicative of Minnie’s unhappiness with her husband and of his abusive nature. The fact that the table has been half cleaned, the finding of a quilt which Minnie has stitched erratically, a broken birdcage, and a dead canary (all of which are trifles) add up to create a clear picture of what really happened and why. Only Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, who had accompanied their husbands to the house in order to get some personal effects to take to Minnie in prison, understand the true relevance of their discoveries.

I think both the play’s title and the title of the short-story version are well suited to the story. The peers referred to in the title “A Jury of Her Peers” were Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. The other women find her “innocent” based on the fact that her late husband was an angry and abusive man.

If I had to come up with an alternative title that summed up the central concerns of this play, I would consider “All Is Not As It Seems” or “The Small Things That Count.”

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Glaspell rewrote the play Trifles as a short story and changed the title to "A Jury of Her Peers." What is the meaning behind that title? Which of the two titles do you prefer? Why?

Susan Glaspell's title, Trifles is about the little things that people miss. The title implies that someone is missing something or is not taking something seriously. Whatever is missing comes across as a mundane detail. These seemingly innocent details are what invite the reader into the story and has them guessing what is really meant by the title of Trifles.

Glaspell's other title, A Jury of Her Peers alludes to the fact that a crime is going to take place and that whoever is at fault, has to face a jury of their peers. The title implies a more serious tale and that there is nothing trifle about the events of the story. Just as the work labeled Trifles, the title invites the reader into the story. The reader is invited to play along in a murder mystery.

I feel the title Trifles is more engaging for the reader. It barely touches on the details of the story. It also allows the reader a chance to consider what the story is going to be about without having more information in the title to guide their thoughts in one direction or another.

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