Analysis of Trifles

Paper #2     Alexa Miller
Final Copy                           Composition 1C/Darr
                                                          October 29, 2010

Analysis of “Trifles”
      The beginning of a play, novel, or short story is one of the most important aspects of that piece of art; it is the first thing a reader reads and it must grab their attention, and paint a proper picture for what lies ahead. In Susan Glaspell’s one act play, Trifles, she paints a very clear picture using the exposition to help set a depressing, gloomy tone for the entire play, and to foreshadow events that will occur. This essay will be an analysis of certain elements in the exposition, specifically how the scene is set, how the characters are introduced, and how the background information is communicated.
      The play opens on an abandoned kitchen that is now in shambles. There are things strewn about as if someone hasn’t tidied up in a long time. Things like, “unwashed pans, a loaf of bread outside of the breadbox, a dish towel on the table, and other signs of uncompleted work.” Creating this disheveled scene causes the audience to be uneasy and anxious for what lies ahead. Also, it creates a gloomy atmosphere and foreshadows the overall feeling of the play. The fact that the play is set in the kitchen is also significant because in that time period the kitchen was the woman’s part of the house, thus foreshadowing the focus on the women throughout the play.
      The action begins when George Henderson, the County Attorney, Henry Peters, the Sheriff, and Lewis Hale, a neighboring farmer, enters the set; they have come to solve the murder mystery of John Wright. Immediately after walking through the door, the men go over to the stove to warm up from the cold outside. Next, two women appear in the doorway, both obviously nervous and uncomfortable with the situation. When offered to come over to the stove, the women respond by saying they aren’t cold and...