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May 03, 2023
Explain the role of setting in Trifles. Why might Glaspell have chosen to let the action unfold in the kitchen rather than the actual scene of the crime? What’s the significance of the Wright house being “down in a hollow and you don’t see the road”? How does the atmosphere — cold and dreary — set the tone for the play?
Describe the significance of the stage directions at crucial points in the play. What do they reveal about the characters’ thoughts and the underlying themes of the play?
Throughout the play, much attention is given to Minnie Wright’s possessions, such as the apron, preserves, birdcage, and bird. Individually and collectively, these objects form a profile of Minnie Wright. What does each of these objects symbolize? What do we learn about Minnie Wright and her life through these objects?
What do the contrasting attitudes between the male and female characters towards Minnie Wright’s home reveal about the theme of gender roles and expectations? What do we learn about the characters through these conflicting views?
Discuss the role of subtext in Trifles. Subtext is what characters communicate without explicitly stating; these thoughts may be communicated through gesture, intonation, pauses, or facial expression. How do the female characters in Trifles communicate without specifically saying what they mean? Why?
Though the entire play centers upon Minnie Wright, she never appears in the play. Why might Glaspell have made this choice? What impact does it have on the play?
The title of the play comes from a line in which Mr. Hale says, “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.” What is the significance of this line? How does it relate to the play’s conflict and themes?


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