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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  4,471 ratings  ·  265 reviews
Trifles is a one-act play by Susan Glaspell. Her short story, "A Jury of Her Peers", was adapted from the play a year after its debut. It was first performed by the Provincetown Players at the Wharf Theatre in Provincetown, Massachusetts on August 8, 1916. In the original play, Glaspell played the role of one of the characters, Mrs. Hale. It is frequently anthologized in ...more
Hardcover, 20 pages
Published September 21st 2007 by Players Press (first published 1916)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This play is often hailed as an icon for feminist writing in which men often belittle anything associated with women. The men in the play look only for concrete evidence within their limited parameters. On the other hand, the women would consider the emotional and personal aspects of the murder case into account. The women tried to put themselves in the murderer's shoe, so to speak. As such, the women quickly find the motive and evidence of the murder --which was the whole point of the ...more
Ahmed  Ejaz
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, 2018
3 Stars
It was a fine read...
Nov 01, 2009 rated it liked it
A neighbour walks into a home and finds the man of the house sitting on his La-Z-Boy, drinking a beer and staring listlessly into space. She asks him if she can see his wife, and he says she's still in bed. She points out that it's almost evening, and he simply repeats that his wife's in bed. She asks if she can go check on her, and when she gets no answer she heads up stairs to check on the wife. But the wife is dead, obviously strangled, so she leaves the house and calls the police. They come ...more
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drah-mah
Also written by Glaspell as a short story, "A Jury of her Peers," which I don't like nearly as well. There's a lovely film 1980 film version, which though entitled "A Jury of her Peers," follows the staging and script of the one-act play, Trifles.

Glaspell's cleanly-scripted drama, plays on the idea that men and women speak different languages and perceive different realities. In the midst of a murder investigation at a rural farmhouse, the men - seeking the facts, trying to determine the motive
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought Trifles was a good short and sweet play, a lot happens in it in a brief time. It's like a mini mystery novel that shows how women tend to have a understanding with each other when it comes to marital problems and how men are blind to them. I also love how Minnie, the farmers wife, isn't in the play with dialog, but she feels like the main character and you get to know what she is like and what she went through.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like plays
I'm glad this was short, because I have decided that mysteries written as plays are not my thing. It was well written, however, I found it hard to really get into the tale. Yes, I felt the cold, and I felt to gloom. But as for the characters, I just didn't connect to them. Maybe because we were just told about some of them and never actually met them? Whatever the case, I can't say that I'll ever retread this. The only characters that felt real were Mrs. Peters and the Country Attorney. The ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THIS IS EXCELLENT. EXTRAORDINARY. As delicate as poignant, Susan Glaspell constructs a -feminist- detective story as an excuse to discuss a much bigger issue, gender violence (as suffered by our choir singer) and its grandfather sexism (evidenced in the way the males behave towards the two ladies). Written with graceful sensitivity and strong determination, this play deserves more and better attention, and so does its author. We call it - knot it.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short but clever play.
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gap-year-theatre
this isn't a feminist manifesto. this isn't an expose of man's perpetual undermining of the female sex and its weaknesses. this isn't friedan, or woolf, or wollstonecraft. it doesn't go that deep in the direction of modern feminism, because that's not what it's about. it's about human nature and innocent complicity, and how easily things can be hidden under the veil of domesticity. it holds more if you don't look at it through only this perspective. if you step back, away from gender politics ...more
Kenia Cuellar

Trifles - Susan Glaspell

Loneliness brings desperate measures. While I was reading “Trifles by Susan Glaspell”, I enjoyed the mystery and the suspense the play includes. In the end, what stood up to me the most is thinking on how lonely and misunderstood Mrs. Wright must have felt that led her to murder her husband. I had to pay attention to the year this was written which was 1916 because during those times women in the United States had not been granted the right to vote and also could not sit
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English teachers almost universally use Kate Chopin's short story "The Story of an Hour" (1894) to illlustrate irony. I would like to suggest the lesser known but more interesting play Trifles (1916) by Susan Glaspell. In the one-act play, a Mrs. Wright is suspected of having killed her husband and is being held in the county jail, but there isn't any proof -- or shall we say, not any that a man would notice. While men investigate the bedroom and the other parts of the house, the sheriff's wife ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
This play is really short, but it touches on a lot of interesting subjects. Probably number one is the relationship between gender and power in American society, though admittedly in the early 20th century. The smug paternalism of the male characters, and the reconstructed brutality of John Wright stand in stark contrast to the women's reluctance to pass judgment and ability to empathize with Mrs. Wright. The only odd spot is Mrs. Wright herself. Although we are, I think, meant to conclude that ...more
Julie H.
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama-play
This one-act play was written in 1916 and is believed to be based on an actual Iowa murder case that Glaspell investigated as a young reporter. Set in a late 19th/early 20th-century agricultural community, the big strong important men investigate the unexplained demise of bully husband John Wright while the female neighbors come to check on the household after Minnie Wright (John's widow) is taken in for questioning. The women's concerns are summarily dismissed by the men, however, using their ...more
Miranda H
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A brilliant, subtle examination of the irony of the male ego and it's ability to minimize the value and validity of women. This play is a timeless classic though unfortunately a bit out-of-reach for my freshmen class. I would suggest it for a more advanced or older group as most of the subtlety and time-specific references went over their heads. I am considering rewriting the play with a modern twist.
Rebecca McNutt
I'm not a huge fan of the play format. I believe plays are meant to be viewed on-stage and that that's where the magic happens (I know, that sounds really pretentious). But Susan Glaspell's Trifles is such an odd, disturbingly captivating one that I think it's just as effective in print as it is being performed.
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this story because of the feminine undertone. We have men who think that they know everything and woman are just simple and only worry about simple things like "trifles" and can not think as complex as a man. But what the women in the story find out and do it more complex then any of these simple men in the story would ever understand!
Viviana L.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love how easy it was to comprehend what was happening while I was reading the drama piece, “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell. It came off to be very interesting to me because we can see that we can kind of put it together like a puzzle. It can be seen as a mystery, because since the beginning all the characters are looking for clues to see who is responsible for Mr. Wright’s murder. There are many turnarounds throughout the play that might cause a bit of confusion but by the end of the play we can ...more
Frank Corral
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a short story about female prejudice, the women is this story must make a decision that will affect the life of another woman accused of murdering her husband.
The Story deals with the murder of Mr. John Wright. The characters include sheriff, County Attorney, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peters. All gathered in the home of the Wright's to discuss Mr. Wright's death. The obvious culprit is his wife, because of her easy access to her husband. the story is not especially
Megan Hevener
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
This one-act is one of my favorites. The reader does not know who did it until the very end. This will keep students on the edge of their sits while reading it, well that's my hope. Their are different voices within this One-Act. Each character has a distinct dialect that one can hear in their heads. I would read this aloud so I can convey that to the students. This will help students see that voice doesn't just have to do with the way words are combined, but the way they are vocally said that ...more
Hayley Bricker
Jan 24, 2012 rated it liked it
For a play, I don't think it was very well-written. Plot was excellent, but I just felt that if I were to watch it on stage, I would be extremely bored because the whole story is mostly static. There is no action to help visualize anything. I would have to listen so closely to the actors to really understand it. But I do love the conclusion that Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Hale come to, that they are all in this together because the law will speak for none of them.
Rosaleen Lynch
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Trifles deals with what are considered at the time the concerns of men and women. The kitchen is the main location and seen as the woman's domain and is where the women during the course of their unraveling of the situation in the tiny aspects of its context are laughed at by the men in the course of their serious investigation and dismissed as concentrating on trifles. Who has a better handle on the unfolding story remains to be seen.
Julia Perillo
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
So good. I love Mrs. Hale! A really interesting look into earlier feminism in literature as well as the great theme of laws of man vs "higher" laws and women and the law. Glad to have read this play.

Also, I want to add that I love how this play proves that emotions can be just as important to consider as strict logic. The two often go hand in hand though many people champion one over the other.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary-merit
Look, I get that this is an important and well-written piece of feminist theatre. But it's just really annoying. Intentionally so, but still. The whole thing is full of that specific type of dramatic irony that just makes you want to slap the characters in the face.

Did Glaspell communicate her point effectively? Yes. Do I want to be subjected to it? No.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
A short and well crafted play that must have been groundbreaking in its day and is still pertinent today. Both accessible and subtly written, there is a deceptive simplicity to the characters and plot that allows for a range of messages to be smuggled in; not just relating to feminism but also society, justice and prejudice.
Emma Getz
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this play. It was extremely interesting from a feminist perspective, whether the ending was justified or not, and perfectly expressed relationships between women and the hardships they endure that leave them with no other support but each other. I would love to see this interpreted in a modern context.
Christina Packard
A Very Short Play! Written in 1916. I am glad I read it. Free online to read.
Shaimaa Suleiman
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
It's a very concise play, yet powerful enough to strike you at every word.
Emma Kay Krebs
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: college, plays
3.5 stars.
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Morales 2341 Spri...: Trifles- A One Act Play 44 58 Mar 01, 2015 07:31PM  

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Susan Keating Glaspell (July 1, 1876 – July 27, 1948) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, actress, director, novelist, biographer and poet. She was a founding member of the Provincetown Players, one of the most important collaboratives in the development of modern drama in the United States. She also served in the Works Progress Administration as Midwest Bureau Director of the ...more
“We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things-it's all just a different kind of the same thing.” 29 likes
“Nothing here but kitchen things.” 3 likes
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