by Susan Glaspell

Trifles character list, george henderson.

The county attorney, he has been called to investigate the murder of John Wright and will probably serve as the attorney for the prosecution in the event of a trial. He is young and professional in manner, but he often dismisses the female interest in minor details of domesticity, and he disparages Mrs. Wright for what he perceives as her lack of homemaking abilities.

Henry Peters

The middle-aged local sheriff and husband of Mrs. Peters, he is at John Wright's house to examine the scene of the crime. Like Henderson, he gently teases the women about their interest in Mrs. Wright's quilt.

A neighboring farmer, he had entered the Wright farmhouse to ask John about acquiring a telephone, only to find a strangled man and a wife acting very bizarrely. He says, "Women are used to worrying about trifles."

Mrs. Peters

A relative newcomer to the town who never knew Mrs. Wright before John Wright married her, Mrs. Peters is "a slight, wiry woman" with a "thin, nervous face." She is married to the sheriff and prefers to follow the law, often apologizing for the behavior of the men because they are only doing her duty. Mrs. Peters understands loneliness and the world of the female domestic.

The wife of the farmer Lewis Hale, she is of a heavier build than Mrs. Peters and resents the condescension shown to her by the men in general and Henderson in particular because of her gender and domestic occupation. She remembers Mrs. Wright as the young Minnie Foster, and she feels sorry for Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Hale regrets not having come to visit Mrs. Wright to alleviate her cheerless life.

John Wright

A local farmer, he was commonly considered a good, dutiful man, but he was also a hard man and neglected his wife's happiness. He paid little attention to his wife's opinions and prevented her from singing. The play centers on the motive for his murder.

Mrs. Wright

Born Minnie Foster, she used to be a happy, lively girl who sang in the local choir, but after she married John Wright, her life became unhappy and forlorn. Although she does not appear in the play, she is the main suspect in her husband's murder and sends Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale to collect a few minor items for her from the farmhouse.

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Trifles Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Trifles is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.


Born Minnie Foster, she used to be a happy, lively girl who sang in the local choir, but after she married John Wright, her life became unhappy and forlorn. Although she does not appear in the play, she is the main suspect in her husband's murder...

How does Mrs. Hale’s insistence on not telling Mrs. Wright about her preserves contribute to the overall meaning of the text?

Mrs. Hale has no wish to worry Mrs. Wright. She knows how much hard work goes into getting the preserves just right... to tell her now would simply upset her more. In context, the women understand how Minnie might feel and react... they are the...

Which of the following best describes the attorneys case?

"Which of the following" means that you have been provided with answer choices for your question. Please include all information in your posts.

Study Guide for Trifles

Trifles study guide contains literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Essays for Trifles

Trifles essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Trifles by Susan Glaspell.

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trifles character analysis essay

“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell Literature Analysis

The short story by Susan Glaspell is full of flat and round characters. There is a reason why the authors crated both flat and round characters. This is a typical formula used by writers. This is because there is not enough space to develop characters and for readers to empathize with them and to understand fully the context of their existence within the story.

The flat characters are important because they provide a platform that allows the more rounded characters to shine. In this short story the presence of flat and round characters are not the only elements of fiction writing that are in full display the author also used stereotypes to create an interesting and believable story.

Before going any further it is important to point out that flat characters are characters found in the story that the author did not bother to develop even further (Arp, 2006). Sometimes there is a mere passing description of their presence. They may come up regularly within the plot but there is a limited amount of information given to create in the minds of a reader a character that has more layers or texture so to speak.

A round character on the other hand is a character in the story that the author focuses on (Arp, 2006). Usually this character, is the protagonist or antagonist, or simply someone who plays an important role in the development of the plot. By creating round characters the storytelle,r allows the reader to empathize with the character and the story comes to life.

A stereotype on the other hand is a technique used by writers to immediately create believable characters without having to use up precious space to inform the reader who they are and what they do. The use of stereotypes is a critical component of this short story because these characters immediately fills up the stage and these are the characters that can make the story believable.

More importantly the author ,can immediately go to the main point of the story without a lengthy introduction describing what the character looks like. For example a stereotyp,e of a police officer is enough for the reader to understand that a police officer is an important component of the story but the author does not need to elaborate even further.

The Sheriff, Hale, County Attorney, and even the two wives can be considered as flat characters. It is only Mrs. Wright and to some extent Mr. Wright who can be considered as well-rounded characters. There is not much that has been said about the Sheriff except the fact that he is there because he has to perform perfunctory duties. As a Sheriff he was obligated to investigate the scene of the crime.

The same thing can be said about the County Attorney. There is not much that has been said about him. He was there to investigate the crime. The same is true for Mr. Hale because he was the witness to the crime.

There is not much that has been said about him, his personality, even the extent of his relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Wright was not explored. It was enough for the writer to say that he is a neighbour of the Wrights. The wives are also flat characters and although they were mentioned most of the time they only served as commentators and narrators.

Through the eyes of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, the readers were able to see the rounded character of Mrs. Wright and to some extent Mr. Wright. From them the readers were able to get a glimpse of the former life of Mrs. Wright and how she suffered as the wife of an overbearing husband. Through the recollection of the two ladies it was discovered why Mrs. Wright felt terrible with the destruction of the canary at the hands of an angry Mr. Wright. The reader was then able to understand why Mrs. Wright was driven to kill her husband.

As mentioned, stereotypes were used so that the storyteller can immediately get to the meat of the story. The Sheriff, the Country Attorney as well as the dutiful wives were in stereotypical roles. The Sheriff was said to be middle-aged and a take-charge guy who is also a natural leader. He was able to command the group.

The Attorney, on the other hand, played the stereotypical role of the investigator perfectly. The wives were dutiful, and they could not criticize the way the men condescended on them. But in the end, they showed their true colors by protecting one of their own. Although they have evidence to link Mrs. Wright to the crime, they chose to withhold that crucial piece of information and that is a stereotypical behavior for women.

The author was able to skilfully mesh the flat and round characters. The flat characters were able to help the writer set up the stage so to speak so that the round characters will shine brightly in the story. The round characters, on the other hand, were given enough space for the reader to empathize or understand what they had to go through. In the case of Mrs. Wright, the reader understood why she had to kill her husband. Stereotypes were used effectively as well to make the story believable.

Works Cited

Arp, Johnson, & Perrine, G. Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense.  Boston, MA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006.

Glaspell, Susan. Trifles . Virginia Commonwealth University. 1916. Web.

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Trifles Essay

Susan Glaspell’s play “Trifles” dates back to 1916. The play was written in a period of great strife in both social and literary fronts. Glaspell’s play is based on real life events that she witnessed when working as a reporter. The play is based on the playwright’s observations as opposed to real life events. “Trifles” features a scarce character pool of main characters. There are three women and three men in the play. All the characters in this play a vital role to the play’s development. Some of Glaspell’s characters in this play are flat while the others are more rounded. This essay explores the roundness or flatness of the characters in “Trifles” and their conformity to stereotypes. The main difference between flat and round characters is that flat characters do not change as much as round characters do. Rounded characters seem more interesting because they develop in the course of the story. Round characters are also more believable because their complexity resonates with the audience. On the other hand, flat characters remain static in the course of the play. In “Trifles”, the women characters are rounded as opposed to the men characters who are more flat. Glaspell uses a unique methodology of character development in her one-act play. The main conflict in the play is the murder of John Wright. Although the murder is not solved in the course of the play, some characters are able to develop. The men characters are obviously flat characters. Mr. Hale and the sheriff are both middle-aged men who come to Mr. Wright’s house to investigate his murder. Mr. Hale is a neighbor to the Wright family. His character does not undergo any major changes or transformations. Hale only provides information to the audience. We learn about details of the murder from Hale. All of Hale’s statements are static from the beginning to the end. The sheriff’s character does not provide much input to the story. The only thing we know is that the sheriff is here on official duty. Most of his dialogue is used to reveal what is happening on the stage. Both the sheriff and Mr. Hale are not interesting characters and their input to the play’s plot is negligible. The county attorney George Henderson came to Mr. Wright’s house in his capacity as an investigator. It is also probable that his job will also include prosecuting Mrs. Wright in case she is tried for her husband’s murder. He is portrayed as a young professional who looks down upon women. His initial feeling is that Mrs. Wright is guilty for the murder of her husband and she should be charged in court for it. His conviction does not change throughout the story and his distaste for Mrs. Wright is evident. For instance, at one time he criticizes her house keeping skills. All the men in the play conform to stereotypes in several ways. First, they are quick to dismiss any ideas that come from the women even though they are crucial to the investigation (Glaspell 1095). The men believe that women cannot be of any help to the investigation. However, in the end it is the women who find a possible motive to the murder. Moreover, the men expect the women to obey them and that is why the attorney does not bother to check them for any concealed evidence when it is time to leave the Wright’s house. Both Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are well-rounded characters and their character growth is evident throughout the play. Their characters’ development is verified through their feelings, emotions, and feelings. Mrs. Peters is the wife to the sheriff. She defends the men in the room by claiming that their actions are justified because they are only doing their jobs. She does not seem very opinionated and tends to believe what the men-folk say. However, she is the first to discover that the birdcage is empty. She reckons that bullies are very hurtful and they too deserve to feel the pain they inflict on others. She moves from being a follower to being Mrs. Hale’s co-conspirator. She acts against the attorney’s wishes when she colludes with Mrs. Hale and they hide the evidence. Mrs. Hale is the most rounded character in the play. In the beginning of the play, she is standing in a corner with Mrs. Peters until the men beckon them to get closer to the stove to seek warmth. Mrs. Hale was acquainted with Mrs. Wright even before she was married. After a few recollections, she starts feeling guilty for having neglected Mrs. Wright (Glaspell 1048). She genuinely feels sorry for Mrs. Wright and jumps at the opportunity to help her by hiding the dead bird. The women in the play do not abide to any common stereotypes. For instance, the attorney assumes that Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Wright are friends just because they are neighbors. This assumption is based on the stereotype that all women are social beings. The women also defy stereotypes by keeping the information they found in Mrs. Wright’s kitchen to themselves.

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Works Cited

Glaspell, Susan. Trifles-The Heath Anthology of American Literature Vol D. Ed. Paul Lauter , Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.

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trifles character analysis essay

Trifles Character Analysis

Description of reverend hale in the crucible.

When Reverend Hale first Appeared in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, he was very different from the person shown at the end of the play ...At first Hale believed that he was to be helpful and that he was doing the right thing, but by the end of the play he was stuck trying to fix his horrifying mistake, weighed down by the guilt from the lives of those killed.

Essay On Reverend Hale In The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller was modeled after the Puritanical society during the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Innocent people, such as Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor were falsely accused and condemned of witchcraft. The aftermath of the trials affected the children, cattle, crops, and the reputations of the accused. Because reputation in the Puritan society was highly valuable, change in tolerating viewpoints other than their own was unlikely. Change, however, demonstrates character development. Characters such as John Proctor, Reverend Hale, and Mary Warren show development throughout the play in which Hale acknowledges his mistakes, Proctor sacrifices his reputation and honor, and Mary deteriorates into a weaker character.

Character Analysis Of Reverend Hale The Crucible

Reverend Hale, from the play The Crucible, is a dynamic character who was involved in determining the guilt of convicted witches in the Salem Witch Trials. The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller is based on the true events that occurred in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1953. Reverend Hale enters Salem with the assumption that there is witchcraft in the colony due to many unexplained events. Hale's character change can be traced in events that occurred throughout the story. He seeks to convict and condemn the witches in the beginning of the play, but by the end, he realizes the corruption of Salem in the convectors, judges, and witnesses and seeks to change the fate of the accused.

The Crucible John Proctor Honesty Analysis

The goodness and honesty of a person is revealed when he or she faces a crucible. In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a strict Puritan town by the name of Salem is overpowered by the lies and deceit of supposed witchcraft. Everyone is subject to affiliation with the Devil and no one is safe from allegation. Two righteous men – John Proctor and Reverend Hale – compliment and contrast each other in their search to uncover the truth. As the play proceeds, Proctor and Hale find themselves and follow their own moral values. Their devotion to their own code of ethics supersedes their loyalty to the community.

Reverend Hale Morals In The Crucible

Reverend Hale’s morals drive him seek him to seek and reveal the truth at first, but as he comes to new realizations he finds that it is better to lie and avoid the killing of innocent people. His morals are what led him to Salem, to help the town in their time of crisis. Since Reverend Hale is motivated by strong morals, his decision to challenge the legitimacy of the court results in him convincing the falsely accused to confess at the end of the play.

The Role Of Lying In The Crucible

Lying is the most committed sin. Everyday people lie whether small or big. Every human knows that lying should not be exercised, but sometimes, in certain situations, lying is necessary due to the consequences of telling the truth.

The Crucible: Reverend Hale

In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, false allegations of witchcraft initiates a widespread witch hunt throughout Salem, Massachusetts during 1692. One of the play’s most prominent characters is Reverend John Hale. Reverend Hale is a Puritan minister from Beverly, Massachusetts with a superior knowledge about witchcraft. Mr. Hale journeys to Salem in order to eliminate any sorcery occurring within the town. Hale’s arrival leads to the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials, a series of hearings to investigate the witchcraft accusations. Reverend Hale’s dialogue, stage directions, and other people’s perceptions of him reveal a man characterized by self-importance; furthermore, his enthusiasm for the witch trials in the beginning and his misguided

The Role Of Reverend Hale In The Crucible

This change revealed that Hale was a fair man and with time he had much reason when he knew that the girls were manipulating Salem. Also, he would become more apparent rather than being arrogant and confident when he realises the evil and corruption of these witch trials. His change shows he’s a fair man who only wants to find the truth and use these trials to find if there is a devil in someone not a place of convicting hangings no matter what evidence is given unless you

Loneliness In Susan Glaspell's A Jury Of Her Peers

It is known that loneliness sometimes makes us senseless. In Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of her Peers” loneliness made Minnie Foster irrational. Mrs. Hale assumes that Mrs. Wright is guilty of killing her husband because of her nonchalant answers she gives when being interrogated about her husband’s location. During the story the reader will learn more about Mrs. Wright, or Minnie Foster, and how her personality changed drastically through her twenty years of marriage with John while Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are covering up the tracks that they presume led to murder. They conclude that loneliness made her lose herself which is evident throughout the short story.

The Crucible Character Analysis Of Reverend Hale

We are all put in this world under rules and how we should live, but the truth is that those ways aren’t alway how we end up. We are raised on a set of rules that as you grow you see them in a different light. You grow become your own person, that is what Hale has done. Reverend Hale starts off as a man who goes by what he was taught and then in the end he becomes his own person.

Character Analysis Of Hale In The Crucible

Throughout the play The Crucible, there are several transformations among characters. One strong transformation is that of Reverend Hale. Hale epitomizes a very dynamic character. Throughout all of the drama in Salem, Hale changes drastically from a man with intentions to free the world from the clutches of satan to a person who realizes the Salem witch trials were all based on lies and tomfoolery.

Gender Roles In The Play Trifles

Although the men in the play, Trifles, are depicted most determined to resolve the murder by combing throughout the entire house to discover the clues related to the murder and the motive of the murder, women are keener in observing the small spaces they have been allowed to access. In the

How Does Hale Use Power And Authority In The Crucible

“Moral Authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, and treating people with respect”-Stephen Covey. With power comes great responsibility, just as authority does. However, sometimes people abuse their power in certain situations. It is also common to see people with power step on the people below them. In The Crucible, many characters use their power and authority in Salem for personal gain and for wrongdoing. Throughout history authority figures give orders to people below them and those people have listened, which shows the kind of effect authority has over a population who cannot make a decision in times of stress.

How Does Mrs Hale Change Throughout The Play

One major change from Glaspell’s play was when Mrs. Hale opened the pretty box. In the play by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Hale was looking for some pair of scissors and when she opened the box she said, “ There’s something wrapped up in this piece of silk” (1206). In the video, Mrs. Hale says, “What a pretty box. She had this long time going she’s a girl” (0:20:03-0:20:24). After she opened it, she closed it right away because she didn’t want Mrs. Peters to see what was inside. In the play Mrs. Hale tells Mrs. Peters she found a bird and to look at its neck but in the video, she doesn't want her to see it. This seemed as if she knew something about this homicide but wanted to keep it to herself. This made it more suspicious and changed the overall

The Struggle Of Women In Susan Glaspell's 'Trifles'

The men in Trifles may be detectives, but they are incompetent to the case, due to their ignorance. Ken Jaworowski, the author of a segment for the New York Times, wrote, “The women examine the details -- the trifles -- of the suspect's life to discover a deeper meaning and in the end solve a mystery by exposing a tragedy.” The women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, are overlooked often in this play by the men. Hale, one of the male characters from the play states, “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.” (Glaspell) This statement reveals how the men go straight to stereotypes with the women. Trifles, something of little importance, is the opposite of what the women are distraught about. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find several items that were “women things”, such as an unfinished quilt and a bird in a box with its neck snapped. These items are key symbols, not only to the play, but to the motive of the murder. Mrs. Wright never revealed that her husband had done cruel things to her, but her husband was known to be harsh at times. Mrs. Hale brings up how Mrs. Wright lived before she married, “I heard 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, that was thirty years ago.” (Glaspell) After marrying to John, Minnie did not have a multitude of freedoms as before. She became confined to being a

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  1. Trifles Character Analysis | LitCharts

    Trifles Characters Next Mrs. Peters Mrs. Peters The wife of the sheriff. Mrs. Peters is more timid than Mrs. Hale and more aware of the responsibilities the women have to the law and to their husbands when they uncover the truth of… read analysis of Mrs. Peters Mrs. Hale The wife of the neighboring farmer. Mrs.

  2. Trifles Characters | GradeSaver

    Essays for Trifles. Trifles essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Trifles by Susan Glaspell. The Unheimlich in Susan Glaspell's Play Trifles: A Feminist Interpretation of Freud's Uncanny; Layers of Significance in Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"

  3. Trifles Character Analysis | Course Hero

    Trifles | Character Analysis Share Mrs. Hale Mrs. Hale is married to a farmer, like Mrs. Wright. As such, she represents the voice of every woman, without any recognized authority. Although she seems reluctant to speak up, she takes a firm position against male criticism when she does.

  4. Trifles Summary & Analysis | LitCharts

    Trifles Summary & Analysis Next Themes Themes and Colors Key Summary Analysis The play opens on the scene of John and Minnie Wright ’s abandoned farmhouse. The kitchen is in disarray with unwashed dishes, a loaf of uncooked bread, and a dirty towel on the table.

  5. Trifles Character Analysis | SuperSummary

    Essay Topics Trifles Character Analysis Mrs. Hale While at first glance, one might expect Mrs. Wright or one of the men to be the protagonists of the play, Mrs. Hale—the Wrights’ neighbor—is the true protagonist.

  6. Trifles by Susan Glaspell Literature Analysis | Free Essay ...

    Our experts can deliver a “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell Literature Analysis essay tailored to your instructions for only $13.00 $11.05/page

  7. Trifles - 841 Words | Essay Example - Free Essays

    Trifles” features a scarce character pool of main characters. There are three women and three men in the play. All the characters in this play a vital role to the play’s development. Some of Glaspell’s characters in this play are flat while the others are more rounded.

  8. Trifles Character Analysis - 1108 Words | Internet Public Library

    Trifles Character Analysis 1108 Words5 Pages Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a play written in 1916 about a murder in a small town. There are seven roles, five of them speaking.

  9. Trifles Analysis Essay - 687 Words | Studymode

    ANALYSIS OF TRIFLES Susan Glaspell, wanted to represent the woman from 1916 that were forgotten by society. In Trifles the characters were represented from real people in her life in the countryside involved in a murder case. However, Trifles is a one-act drama that focuses on the individual hardships the women face during that time.