Is Mrs. Wright guilty in Trifles?

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Glaspell heavily implies that Mrs. Wright is guilty of murdering her husband. Technically, however, the murder is never resolved, as the sheriff and county attorney never find any solid evidence or motive by the play's end. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters have found such evidence, yet they have arrived at an agreement not to share this information, as they believe, despite Mrs. Wright's guilt, that Mr. Wright was just as guilty, if not more.

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Even though it is never actually confirmed, Glaspell makes it quite clear that Mrs. Wright did in fact kill her husband by strangling him with a rope. Mrs. Wright insists that her husband was probably murdered while she was sleeping and that the murderer escaped; the sheriff (Mr. Peters) and the farmer who discovered John's body (Mr. Hale), their wives, and the county attorney (Mr. Henderson) all search the house, and the men fail to find enough evidence to convict Mrs. Wright by the play's end.

Mrs. Wright's odd behavior and her slight apathy concerning her husband's murder cause the men to be especially suspicious of her involvement in the homicide. However, they have yet to find enough concrete evidence to convict her. As the men head upstairs, the women—Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters—conduct their own investigation.

They find a birdcage with its door broken and, later, a dead canary, which they deduce was killed by Mr. Wright. Mrs. Hale knew the Wrights, and it becomes obvious to her that John Wright wrung the bird's neck, enraged by its singing and the joy it must have brought to Mrs. Wright. Finally, they've arrived at Mrs. Wright's motive for murder: she sought justice for the death of her beloved pet and for all the cruelties her abusive husband had laid upon her throughout their marriage.

Empathizing with Mrs. Wright and the hardships she has endured, both Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale decide to hide their findings from the sheriff and the county attorney, deciding that, though Mrs. Wright may be guilty of murder, justice has already been served.

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In Trifles by Susan Glaspell, is Mrs. Wright a murderer?

In the play Trifles by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Wright is technically guilty of murdering her husband. The play clearly indicates that she killed him. The detectives searching the Wright house during the course of the one-act play are looking for a motive, which they are unable to find. The wives of the two men searching the house—Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters—do uncover the likely motive and decide to hide the evidence. Even though they know Mrs. Wright killed her husband, they believe she did so with good reason—at least from what they can infer from her home and their former relationships with her—so they do not reveal the clues to their husbands.

When the men enter the Wright home, they search in all the expected places, like the entrances and the crime scent itself. They leave their wives to the "trifles," which in this case means gathering items for Mrs. Wright while she is in jail. As they do so, the women observe the state of the kitchen (work has been left unfinished) and Mrs. Wright's sewing (she dropped a stitch suddenly). They figure that Mrs. Wright must've been interrupted by something, or that she was suddenly upset about something. Then when they go to gather some sewing supplies, they come across Mrs. Wright's dead bird. The bird and the damaged cage imply that Mr. Wright killed her bird and she retaliated by killing him. The women combine this with their sense that Mrs. Wright had been isolated by her husband and her voice had been silenced, as she used to be a singer. The women associate the bird with the woman herself; thus, the husband killed the wife's spirit. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters decide this is a valid motive and join together with the wronged wife in keeping her secret.

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