The one act play, Trifles, written by Susan Glaspell (1225-1236), is based on the actual events occurring at the turn of the century in a small town in Iowa. A local famer, John Wright, was found dead and a murder mystery exploded with in the town. At first, the murder is assumed to be done by burglars, who killed him in his sleep strangling him with a rope around the neck. After the sheriffs investigation, the evidence suggested that his wife of over thirty years is guilty of the crime. Ultimately, Minnie Wright was charged and found guilty in her husbands murder. As the defending attorney for Mrs. Minnie Wright, her closing argument defends her actions and character of a once lively woman, dissipating from abuse, isolation, and neglect over a thirty-year span, with evidence defending her actions leading to her husbands murder.
In the years before Minnie Foster became the wife of John Wright, she sang in the choir, wore pretty clothes, and was a lively woman. John Wright was attracted to Minnie because she sang so beautifully in the choir. I wish youd seen Minnie Foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and sang(1235) Mrs. Hale Minnies neighbor said in a conversation with Mrs. Peters. Minnies hopes and dreams were to marry and have children. After meeting and marrying John Wright one half of her dreams came true. John and Minnie never had children, which after time kept her housework minimal, but her house quiet. Following many years with little to no contact with other people, Minnie found a friendship with a canary that sang as beautiful as she had in her past. Minnie was rarely seen in town and was always isolated on her farm maintaining the household chores. As thirty years dwindled by, Minnie had her grumpy husband whom never showed any attention and her canary, both of which are gone.
In the closing arguments, one should try and discuss the reasonable inferences which can be drawn from the evidence presented in this case. On the day after the murder at Minnie Wrights house, the day that Henry Peters (sheriff), George Henderson (county attorney), Lewis Hale (a neighboring famer), Mrs. Peters, and Mrs. Hale entered the residence for the purpose of inspecting and gathering evidence from the crime scene. The Wright house is in disarray, but the county attorney dismissed it as bad housekeeping. Mr. Hale remembered on the day of the actual finding of John Wrights body, that Minnie looked scared as she rocked in the rocker. After the years of abuse, isolation, and neglect, John Wright strangled the only friend Minnie had, the canary, but people only see things that are totally obvious. It is Mrs. Peters that stated, When I was a girl my kitten there was a boy took a hatchet, and before my eyes and before I could get there If they hadnt held me back I would have-hurt him (1234-1235). Mrs. Peters tells of a story from her own past, but there is no one in the Wright house the night of the murder, who would step in between John and Minnie. Who would be the voice of reasoning? Who is there to hold either one of them from acting on impulse? Mr. Wright killed Minnie Wright over the course of thirty years, and now she is facing charges for killing him. Now, murder is a very serious case. Of course, it's important for one to understand that it is not okay to take anothers life. A good, efficient, and competent jury will carefully set about the evidence shown and will not rush to judgment. A jury should take into consideration at all cost, that if there is a reasonable doubt, they are bound by justice to acquit and that the sheriff will set about to try to apprehend the killer or killers that have done this horrific deed. The sheriff should protect the innocent from suspicion, slander, and conviction.
In this case, the victim is not only John Wright, the deceased, but also Minnie Wright, the one who is standing trial for the murder of her husband. Unfortunately, in this case there were no presidents or protocol for the crime scene. Neither, Mrs. Peters or Mrs. Hale disclosed all their findings including the dead canary found in the same manner as Minnies husband. Finally, Mrs. Hale did not state about the knowledge of the abuse, isolation, and neglect that Minnie Wright endured over the thirty years of her marriage to John Wright.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 10th ed. New York: Longman, 2007. 1225-36.
Thesis: As the defending attorney for Mrs. Minnie Wright, her closing argument defends her actions and character of a once lively woman, dissipating from abuse, isolation, and neglect over a thirty-year span, with evidence defending her actions leading to her husbands murder.
I. From the beginning of the play, a murder mystery is the topic.
A. A local famer, John Wright, was found dead.
B. The evidence suggested that his wife of over thirty years is guilty of the crime.
II. The background of Minnie Foster and becoming the wife of John Wright.
III. The closing arguments for the defendant Minnie Wright.
A. The inspection and gathering of evidence from the crime scene.
B. The house is in disarray and among the unfinished pots and pans the dead canary is found.
C. Mrs. Peters statement from her childhood experience.
D. Murder is a very serious charge and a jury should weigh out the evidence.
IV. In this case there is more than one victim.
A. If men would have considered womens opinion presidents or protocol may have made a difference in the outcome of this case.
B. Mrs. Hale did not state about the knowledge of the abuse, isolation, and neglect that Minnie Wright endured