Suzan Glaspell’s Trifles and the Short Story

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Suzan Glaspell is an American writer and actress who formed a playgroup known as the Provincetown Players. This was considered as the very first theatre organization in co-temporal America. Suzan is famous for her play and short story known as the Trifles and A jury of her peers.

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Trifles were published in the year 1916 after which A jury of her peers was written. The aim was to reach a larger scope of audience. The Trifles story tells of a murder in which vital evidence is under looked as a mere ladies thing (Rights 1). A jury of her peers ascertains Trifles from which real-life concepts are generated. The paper reviews Trifles and A jury of her peers in an attempt to find the difference between the two, and the reasons for adapting the first for the second concept.

The Trifles tells of a murder of John Wright. The suspect, in this case, is his wife Minnie. After apprehending her, the county attorney, Mr. George Henderson and the sheriff Mr. Peters, together with Mr. Hale, a neighbor who also doubles as a witness move to the Wright’s house (Ahmed 105). The aim was to collect any possible evidence to help in pinning Minnie. She had claimed that Wright was murdered by an unknown assailant who performed the act while in bed without her noticing. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters joined them with the intent of helping Minnie with new and clean clothes. The ladies out of feminine curiosity noticed that Mrs. Wright had been secretly traumatized by her bully husband who also killed the canary. The claim is backed by Mrs. Hale’s statement Oh, I wish I’d come over here once in a while! (Glaspell 198) who felt obliged to help Minnie. However, the quilt and the dead canary in a silk wrapping were stolen away to protect Minnie.

The short story A jury of her peers was created from Trifles. It is considered as Suzan’s best short story amongst all she has ever written. In this literary text, she points out gender roles during the start of the 20th century (Glaspell 197). In her review of the Trifles play, she notes of the dangers of isolating people with mental and emotional challenges. To add on, the story also evaluates the duties that neighbors play in an attempt to help one another especially when difficult situations arise. Most importantly, Suzan Glaspell, a female author streamlines the factor of sexism. Here, her story depicts that women roles were outlined. This is evidenced by the menfolk repetitively ignoring the signs that lay in the feminine actions of Minnie.

The short story of A jury of her peers and the Trifles play are known to be similar in almost every aspect. In fact, the Trifles play was simply picked, lifted and placed directly into the short story. Despite the clear nature of similarity, the two stories possess major differences. To begin with, it is important to note that the titles of the play and short story differ in meaning. Considering the Trifles play, the title simply means the concepts that are undermined or rather taken as less important in a situation that calls for solutions. Here, the play simply identifies the interest in the objects which actually have to act as evidence in the judgment of Mrs. Minnie Wright (Glaspell 197). Taking A jury of her peers into consideration, the title simply means a judge of character with regard to friends, families or rather people that one associates with. Here, the title simply notes that the short story directs its initiative to character and attributes within the context. In fact, the story digs deep into the mental realm of the characters pertaining to the story.

The difference lies within the intention of the story despite a similar and sequential channel of concept development. The second notable difference is characterization amongst the concepts (Alharbi 2). The men have been less focused on in the play. However, when it comes to the short story, it is quite obvious that every identifiable mistake comes from the actions of the men. One would precisely say that the play was focused on the women who outplayed the men in finding the evidence. In the short story of A jury of her peers, the focus is on gender with the interest placed in the women. In other words, it exploits the positions of both men and women in society placing more emphasis on the female gender roles in the early 20th century.

Suzan was born in 1876 and later died in the year 1948. Before her death, she had written a good number of short stories including A jury of her peers (Glaspell 201). It is noted that the short story was an inspiration derived from the play which was known as the trifles. However, the reasons for her doing so are still uncertain. However, there are various reasons identified to have inspired the creation of the short story herein. First, the play had received so much success and criticism at the same time. Very many people critiqued the play based on how they understood it. To be exact, Suzan Glaspell went ahead to write a short story regarding the same murder incidence in Dickson country. She clearly drove her point to gender roles in which women were looked at as inferior with limited capacity to perform intellectual duties. For example, in the play, the menfolk ignores the kitchen and a quilt which are typically women roles while Peters mocked them on how the quilt would be completed.

Suzan was also inspired by the fact that the story had moral or rather ethical points to learn from. As an educationist, she intended to outline such values for learners who would use her stories in later times. For example, neighbors helping each other in difficult situations is a paramount step. However, one would wonder if Minnie Wright deserved the protection anyway. According to Glaspell (199), Mr. Hale’s Well, women are used to worrying over trifles quote belittled women intelligence. For such reasons, Suzan Glaspell adapted the Trifle story to teach that the little things people perceive as irrelevant are actually important. Suzan Glaspell seems to point out that leaving people with emotional and mental breakdown holds its dangers to any society. Sometimes, if not suicide, mass murders could result from such predicaments. Minnie was silently undergoing a challenging time from her rude husband who did reach the extent of killing the canary probably to hurt her (Glaspell 195). In any imaginable situation, Minnie needed somebody to talk too. Suzan Glaspell undertook the initiative to write his short story due to the fact that she felt it necessary to convey the life lessons underlying the Trifles play.

Suzan Glaspell is a writer and actress whose works were respected. She was the first American to start an acting company. She is actually famous for her play and story called the Trifles and A jury of her peers subsequently. Trifles depicted a cold blood murder of Wright by Minnie. Searching for evidence turned dramatic when it disappeared without the menfolk noticing. A Jury of her peers was typically an adaption of the Trifles play in which an in-depth analysis was conducted. The difference between the Trifles and A jury of her peers lies within the two titles. Additionally, the characterization of the stories and the gender concentration depicts the difference between the two literary texts. Writing the short story right after the play was simply to explore the meaning underlying the Trifles play.

Works Cited

Ahmed, Assist Instructor Shirin Kamal. “The Spousal Abuse of Women in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles.” Alustath Journal 224 Vol 1 (2018): 101-118.

Alharbi, Aljawharah Hussain Hamad. “The Catalyst: An Indepth Look at the Damaging Effects of the Absent Character in Selected American Plays.” (2018).

Glaspell, Susan. “A jury of her peers.” Literature and Its Writers: A Compact Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1917): 194-210.

Rights, Equal, and Barbie Doll. “Trifles Essays (Examples)”.

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