The controversial question that ambles, then gains every readers eye and eventually turns into a debate when reading Susan Glaspell’s one act play, Trifles, is who is the protagonist? There are seven characters in Trifles and only one of them is the protagonist. One might argue that Mrs. Peters or Mrs. Hale is the protagonist because of the disclosure of their feelings and their constant dialogue about Mr. Wright, who is dead, and Mrs. Wright, who is now in jail for murdering her husband.
No, there is not enough profound and sound evidence to support that argument; however, the evidence that supports Mrs. Wright as the protagonist is overwhelming. Mrs. Wright is clearly the protagonist when identifying the antagonist(s), observing the transformation of Minnie Foster to Mrs. Wright, and by realizing what the sympathies from Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters for Mrs. Wright actually mean. When investigating the antagonist, or antagonists, it is clear that there are many possibilities.
Susan Glaspell has strong feminist ideals; furthermore, the effects of these ideals are lucid in Trifles. Several times the men are outstandingly against the women. This conflict provides support for a conflict between a man and a woman and assists in narrowing the possibilities of who the protagonist actually is. Early on in the dialogue, the County Attorney starts by singling out Mrs. Wright by criticizing her housekeeping abilities by calling out, “Dirty towels! Not much of a house keeper would you say ladies? ” (Glaspell 141).
Trifles of fate On the surface, Susan Glaspell's play Trifles focuses on a wife murdering her oppressive husband. The husband is abusing his wife emotionally out on a lonely secluded farm isolated from society in the Midwest. Under the surface, the behaviors of Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Peters, and Mrs. Wright in Glaspell's play to those of Clotho the Spinner, Lachesis the Disposer of Lots, and Atropos the ...
Henderson again criticizes Mrs. Wright’s abilities when he says she does not have homemaking instincts (Glaspell 141).
Mrs. Hale provides the reader with more evidence of a male-antagonist versus female-protagonist conflict when she says, “You know, it seems kind of sneaking. Locking her up in town and then coming out here and trying to get her own house to turn against her” (Glaspell 142).
In this quotation Mrs. Hale is not happy with the fact that the men have come in and criticized Mrs. Wright and then rummaged through her things.
More evidence, perhaps the most significant, is that Mrs. Hale makes known that the death of Mrs. Wrights Canary is because of her husband. The support for a conflict between a man and women cannot go without notice because there are an ample number of quotes throughout the text that support this argument. The protagonist should undergo change as their character develops throughout the text. This change does not have to be beneficial for the character. In fact, the character that goes through the most change is Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Wright has been married to Mr.
Wright for quite a long time. The community knows Mrs. Wright as Minnie Foster before her marriage and exposure to her husband. Before she was married, Mrs. Wright was a completely different person. She wore different clothing; she had different hobbies, and was able to be happy and cheerful. Some of the first words that come from Mrs. Hale about Mrs. Wright state that, “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie foster…singing in the choir” (Glaspell 142).
Mrs. Hale found out that Mrs. Wright had a bird later in the text. She compares Mrs.
Wright to her bird by saying, “…like a bird –real sweet and pretty…How –she –did –change” (Glaspell 144).
Mrs. Hale thought highly of Mrs. Wright before she made the decision to marry John. Everything about Winnie Foster did change when she made that decision. John description is that of a poor one. He is not cheerful, gone all day, and a hard man. Minnie experiencing the poor attributes of John, day after day, having to live with him and endure his gloominess, changed her dramatically. Minnie was cheerful; she used to sing in the choir, wear pretty clothes, and went outside.
Femininity vs. Masculinity Trifles, a one-act play, written by Susan Gla spell, has an interesting plot about an abusive husband's murder at the hands of his abused wife on a secluded farm in the Midwest (Russell, pg. 1). The opening scene of the play gives us a great deal of information about the people of the play and their opinions. The play portrays the ways in which men treated women during ...
Now that she is married, Minnie is alone at home tending to dirty towels, a messy kitchen, no children, and worst of all the “…great deal of work to be done on a farm” (Glaspell 141).
Noticing the changes in Mrs. Wright are crucial to determining the protagonist. The men, including her husband, are against her, which leaves Mrs. Wright to be the protagonist, as the men are her antagonists. The last piece of evidence proving that Mrs. Wright is the protagonist is the content of the dialogue between Mrs. Hale and Mrs.
Peters, which make up the majority of the text. Of their conversations, there are a countless number of sympathetic comments toward Mrs. Wright. The most significant support for this statement is how Mrs. Hale clings to the birdcage right after she says, “I wonder how it would seem never to have had any children around. No, Wright would not like the bird –a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too” (Glaspell 144).
Mrs. Hale, in this quote, is beginning to understand what it was like for Mrs. Wright while she is with her husband.
She is starting to understand that Minnie is caged up, stuck, and unhappy. The argument for sympathetic comments is that a static and flat character could not have near as much sympathy from other characters because a character that is not the least bit developing cannot be the protagonist. Therefore, because Minnie is developing she can be a central focus of the conversations and the many sympathies. Mrs. Wright does not make herself the protagonist; the other characters in the play make her the protagonist by creating and developing her character.
In conclusion, Mrs. Wright is easily identifiable as the protagonist in this play. By identifying the antagonist, observing the transformation of Minnie Foster to Mrs. Wright, and by determining what the sympathies from Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters actually mean it is clear that Mrs. Wright is the protagonist. This is because she is the subject matter of the majority of the dialogue, she is the most developed character and undergoes the most change and because she has the most opposition or antagonists.
Mrs. Wright is a character not present at the scene, but for me, posed a great importance in the whole story. In the Story, Mrs. Wright was the wife of the murdered John Wright. She was the primary suspect, since she was the only person with the Mr. Wright when he was murdered, at his case, strangled to death. Mrs. Wright, as told by Mr. Hale, was the person he stumbled upon when he came in ...