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January 10, 2013

Susan Glaspell's - _Trifles_ and a "Jury of Her Peers": A Chauvinist Murder Mystery in One-Act?


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Class,

In the comment box below, . . .

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

~Dr. Hobbs

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To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at January 10, 2013 11:59 PM

Readers' Comments:

4 May 2008

Students,

If you are submitting to this blog post for your final exam, remember to add a few comments (after a line separator) at the END of your entry after the works cited (should be the FINAL, not first, revision of your term paper) explaining why this post was one of the most appropriate to your paper's topic/thesis. Don't forget that you need to do this for two blog entries and you need to submit a paragraph informing me of which two blog entries you submitted to and an explanation why to turnitin.com. All of these steps need to be completed to get credit for the final exam.

Good luck,

Dr. Hobbs

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." ~ William Butler Yeats

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If you are interested in reading earlier English-Blog student discussions of Susan Glaspell's Trifles, please see the post HERE.

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B. Kirk
Professor Lee Hobbs
Literature Course

Question: Gender Roles
4) The Women’s language is important (see how the men react to it): how do you feel about the gender roles exhibited through language in this play?

In my opinion the women are portrayed as beneath the men in this play, so therefore their language differs greatly. When the men talk they use important language and facts, to make what they are doing seem so significant. On the other hand the women talk very simply and don’t reveal all they know to the men, since they feel the men won’t listen and believe them. In conclusion, I feel that the language determines the gender roles and portrays the women as unimportant when in fact they solved the whole mystery; right under the men’s noses.


Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 28, 2007 04:33 PM

M. Dollar
Professor Lee Hobbs
Literature Course

2. Conflict. In the play, women are pitted against their husbands and other men. How are male characters in the play portrayed? What are their values or beliefs? Are they portrayed in a positive or negative way?
In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, the male characters are portrayed as being the more logical, all-knowing gender. It is the men in the play who hold the highest positions, such as the county attorney and sheriff. They value finding the quickest answer to Mr. Wright’s murder. They do not want to waste any time in trying to solve the mystery, and so they overlook important details such as the messy kitchen. They assume that it is more important to evaluate the room where Mr. Wright was killed than to analyze how Mrs. Wright kept her house or the couple’s relationship. In the very beginning of the play, the County Attorney suggests that we “talk about [feelings] later, Mr. Hale” (838).
The men are portrayed in a more negative manner than the women. Because the women hold back information from the men, it is indicated to the audience that the men do not really care what the women think or how much information they know. Trifles is an attempt by Glaspell to show how women deserve more accreditation from men.
Works Cited
Glaspell, Susan. “Trifles.” Kennedy 837-848.
Kennedy, X. J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Posted by: mdollar at November 28, 2007 04:44 PM

K Olijnyk
Professor Lee Hobbs
Literature Course

Contrast the male characters’ attitudes towards the crime and the proper way to solve it with the female characters’ attitudes. How do the men and women perceive “justice” at the beginning of the play? At the end?

The men in this play want to solve the crime quickly. The evidence they put together is all of the obvious things. They do not look into the real meaning of any of the evidence and ignore things that can help them solve the crime. The women on the other hand recognize the small details, for example, the house was left a mess and a quilt was left unfinished. They know more than the men do. The men perceive justice as the murderer getting punished. The women appear to think differently. As for the fact that, they think Mrs. Peters has committed this crime, they try to protect her. I believe they are trying to protect her because men are commonly thought of as superior and women are not treated equal. Mrs. Peters did not have a happy life, and her husband had pushed her to her limit and I believe they all understood that feeling. Justice, in their eyes, was letting Mrs. Peters go free.

Posted by: KOlijnyk at November 28, 2007 05:46 PM

Lindsay M.
Professor Lee Hobbs
Literature Course

8.) Ethics. Why do you think the women conceal evidence? Are they right (legally and morally) to do so? This play leaves the audience with an ethical dilemma. Is murder ever justified?

-The women concealed the evidence, the dead canary, because after looking at the situation and seeing certain small details in the house, they thought that the husband probably killed the bird, so Mrs. Wright probably killed him. This is legally and morally wrong, because they didn't know what actually happened, just what they thought happened. Murder is never justified, but this play makes it seem like it could be.

Posted by: Lindsay M at November 28, 2007 07:02 PM

J Betz
Professor Lee Hobbs
Literature Course

8.) Ethics. Why do you think the women conceal evidence? Are they right (legally and morally) to do so? This play leaves the audience with an ethical dilemma. Is murder ever justified?

The women concealed the evidence (the dead bird) because they think that Mrs. Wright would be accused of hanging her husband if the men saw the strangled bird. Legally and morally, it isn't right because the women didn't know what really happened. Killing is never justified.

Posted by: J B at November 28, 2007 07:49 PM

J Conrad
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
28 November 2007

What is the significance of the cage and the bird? What is the significance of Mrs. Hale finishing the stitching?

In the play “Trifles” the damaged cage was a hint that something happened to the bird. The bird was found strangled. Similarly Mrs. Wright’s husband was found strangled with a noose that was knotted in the same way that she knits. Judging from the fact that the husband was strangled just like the bird, one could conclude that Mrs. Wright killed her husband. When the characters come to investigate the murder of Mr. Wright, Mrs. Hale finishes the stitching to try and cover up evidence. The quilt that Mrs. Wright had been working on started off nice and neat but toward the end the quilt started to become careless. Fixing the quilt took away any question about why the pattern in the quilt changed.

Posted by: J Conrad at November 28, 2007 10:03 PM

L. George
English 104.H
“Character-- Review the discussion of character as discussed by Kennedy and friends. Think about flat characters verses three dimensional characters. Who are more developed, the two women, or the three men? Which female character develops in the play? How?”
The two women are more fully developed within the play Trifles. At the beginning, the women were sticking up for the wife. Later, with the evidence of the dead bird, the women were able to assume Mrs. Wright was the murder. Of the female characters, Mrs. Hale was the most developed because she destroys the stitching in the quilt, she finds the canary, she thought of the idea that there was a cat that killed the bird, and she was smart enough to hide the evidence from the men. I feel she was the most developed because she was the first exposed and first acted upon new situations.

Posted by: L.George at November 28, 2007 11:12 PM

C.Carley
ENGL 104F Intro to Literature
GENDER ROLE: The women's language is important (see how men react to it); how do you feel about the gender roles exibited through language in this play?


The sheriff and the county attorney overheard the women talking about Mrs. Writes quilt. They laughed at the two women when the women wondered aloud if Millie was going to quilt or knot the quilt. Mr. Write had been murdered and the two women were curious as to how Millie was going to finish her quilt rather than focusing on a motive for the crime. The manner in which the women spoke lead the men to see them as simple minded, unable to worry about things other than sewing and "trifles." Little did the men know that by observing the “little things” such as a stitch in a quilt the women had solved the crime Millie had committed.

Posted by: Cailin Carley at November 28, 2007 11:58 PM

Chris Murawski
Professor Hobbs
English 104.H Introduction to Literature
24 November 2007

What is the view of woman compared to men in this time period? What are their values and beliefs? Are women portrayed positively or negatively?

In the story "Trifles," the men are shown more superior then woman around that time period. In the story the men even state that all woman are use to worrying over trifles ( ). Also, during the solving of the case, the woman kept to their selfs and solved the crime on their own. When the men came back into the house, the woman did not even bother to tell them or show them the evidence. This just shows that woman really did not have any say in things back then, because even if the woman told the men who did it, and showed them the evidence; the men probably would not believe them. Another clear illustration would be when the men even said that woman are housekeepers ( ). This would show the common role of a woman back then. Therefore, the portray of woman back then would be a negative view, however, if you lived back then, than it would most likely be positive.

As for values and beliefs of the woman in the story, the woman may hide that they knew who the killer was to protect their own kind. This could be because they feel as though they need to get back at the men for the way they have been treated woman over the years. they view it more as revenge then by doing the right thing and turning the lady in.

Works Cited
Kennedy, X.j, and Dana Gioa. Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 837-848.


Posted by: Chris Murawski at November 29, 2007 12:44 AM

Power consider the first scene:the other the people enter and speak,the actions ascribed to them by Glaspell, what hierarchies are established?

There are two different hierarchies established throughout the play, the obvious one is the men before the women. The men enter before the women. Within the men it is the Attorney, Hale, and the Sheriff. The second hierarchies that is hidden in the play is the women and then the men, because the women know more than the men do and are in charge of this whole murder. The actions ascribed to them by Glaspell are simply the women seem to lack confidence and seem to be scared,and are always standing together. As the men are confident and trying to take control of the situation.

Posted by: A. Prescott at November 29, 2007 01:20 PM

J. Cowan
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104.F

Character- Review the discussion of character as discussed by Kennedy and friends. Think about flat characters versus three-dimensional characters. Who are more fully developed, the two women, or the three men? Which female character develops in the play? How?

I believe the two women are more fully developed because they can actually relate to Mrs. Wright, the suspect, and sympathize with her. The three men tend to only look at the concept of murder and logically accuse Mrs. Wright.

Mrs. Peters has developed more entirely throughout the play than any other character. This is because she follows the rule of justice, "innocent until proven guilty," rather than letting herself accuse Mrs. Wright of murder the way Mrs. Hale and the three men do.

Posted by: J. Cowan at November 29, 2007 02:12 PM

R. Rugani
Introduction to Literature Engl 104: Section F

“Trifles” 6. Significance- What is the significance of the cage and the bird? What is the significance of Mrs. Hale fixing the stitching?

The significance of the cage is how Mrs. Wright had a love for the bird and how it sang. The bird was something she loved dearly. When the bird cage is broken that is a significance how Mrs. Wright’s love is broken. Her joy is no longer in existence. The bird represents the happy part of Mrs. Wright and when the bird was strangled that meant her happiness was gone also. The significance of Mrs. Hale fixing the stitching is trying to mend the broken. Obviously she cannot because the same stitching Mrs. Wright used went along with the same stitching of the rope around Mr. Wright’s neck. All together, Mrs. Hale was trying to fix the stitching but in turn cannot because the damage was already done to the couple and Mr. Wright was dead.

Posted by: Raquel Rugani at November 29, 2007 03:47 PM

L. Cicerchi

Professor Hobbs

English 104H: Introduction to Literature

30 November 2007

Trifles by Susan Glaspell

#3 In the play women are pitted against their husbands and other men. How are the female characters in the play portrayed? What are their values or beliefs? Are they portrayed in a positive or negative way?

I think the women in this play are definitely portrayed in a negative way. The women seem to know more about the case but since the men just brush them off, they decide not to speak up about their findings. In the one section of the play, Hale says "women are used to worring over trifles". This makes it sound like any problem the men might have is far more important than anything the women would be worrying about. The men treat the women as inferiors which is a bad impression to impose on people.

Posted by: L. Cicerchi at November 29, 2007 06:06 PM

A.Tercek

Professor Hobbs

ENGL104F Introduction to Literature

28 November 2007

“Glaspell was a clever author/playwright and clearly manipulates her readers/audience with her language. Indicate several ways Susan Glaspell conditions the audience to accept the final decision.”

I believe Susan Glaspell used the women in this play to downplay the murder. Usually at the end of a play such as this, the reader is often left in awe when they find out who committed the crime. Yet Glaspell used the women that were assisting the men in the investigation to emit a sense of sympathy towards Mrs. Wright (the wife of the victim) for going through what supposedly went through. By creating this sense, Glaspell went on to give a background of Mrs. Wright and how both of the women could have personally changed the outcome. The author also made it seem that only the women knew what life must have been like for Mrs. Wright, and by doing that she downplayed the fact that Mrs. Wright murdered her husband. Near the very end of the play, the women found the bird that was most likely strangled to death by her husband, and put the pieces of the puzzle together. Mrs. Wright couldn’t take it anymore and snapped. When the men finally returned from the searching the barn for evidence, the women hid the bird so that they themselves couldn’t piece the puzzle together. If the two women in the story were on Mrs. Wright’s side, why not the reader?...

Posted by: Adam Tercek at November 29, 2007 09:58 PM

J. Carter
English 104 (F) Writing About Literature

In the play (Trifles), woman are pitted against their husbands and other men. How are the female characters portrayed? What are their values and beliefs? Are they portrayed in a positive or negative way?

The female characters in Trifles are portrayed as dumb and incompetent. The men in this play believed that the women were looking at little details that were not needed in order to solve the murder. Instead of using concrete evidence, the women used their emotions to solve the case. The women looked at small details such as the quilt stitching to ultimately solve the murder case.

I’m sure the women felt that murder was definitely a bad thing, but they tried to justify the situation with their beliefs and values. They sympathized with Mrs. Wright’s situation of being stuck in the home and felt bad for the spot she was put into. Although these women were portrayed in somewhat of a negative way, underneath the surface, the women’s observations allowed the case to be solved once and for all and for this, they were ultimately a positive influence in the story.

Posted by: J. Carter at November 29, 2007 09:59 PM

Perspective-Contrast the male characters' attitudes toward the crime and the proper way to solve it with the females characters' attitudes. How do the women and the men perceive "justice" at the beginning of the play? At the end?

They women go and look for the moral evidence while the men look for hard evidence. The women's views change because they believe the women are pure and that they wouldn't commit such a crime, but they were wrong. They got evidence when they found the dead canary

Posted by: Cory at November 30, 2007 12:40 PM

Brooke Z.
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104H

Theme- Review the meaning of theme as discussed by Kennedy. What are some of the themes of this play? How does the physical location of the characters help develop the theme?

I found various themes in this play that included death, revenge, and murder. I think the overall theme of the play is revenge. I think her husband killed the bird by strangling it, and then she killed her husband by strangling him to get revenge because the bird was her only real friend.

The physical location of the characters helped develop the theme in a way, the messy house could be one characteristic. The house was very messy and I think this reflected her personality because was sad all of the time and did not want to or have the desire to clean the house. She was somewhat a "mess" just like the house.

Posted by: Brooke Z. at November 30, 2007 12:55 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise/assignment.

Posted by: Lee Hobbs at November 30, 2007 06:19 PM

Teresa Wineland
Professor Lee Hobbs
American Literature
30 April 2008
Stepping Out of the Shadows
The Enlightenment of Women in “A Jury of Her Peers”
An intermingling of personalities is anticipated in any relationship between a man and woman, and within these characteristics is dominance. One individual in a relationship takes on the dominant role or controls the issues within the relationship. In particular conditions, such as abusive relationships, a dominant individual can often have much influence over the other so much so that the spouse conjures a false persona to please the abuser or dominant spouse. For instance, if the dominant spouse is a man and the abused spouse is a woman, the woman may live life with the false persona she has created. All the while she is putting her true opinions and beliefs aside, and assuming the values and morals of the man. In time, the woman will have lost sight of who she truly is and what she truly believes in. She will be a mere reflection of her dominant partner.
If this particular woman’s values and beliefs were put to the test, she would have a difficult time deciding what her true and real values and beliefs are. Ultimately, she would be determining her reality, deciding what is true and what is untrue. Her circumstances are similar to the prisoners in Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”, in Book VII of The Republic. The prisoners believe that the truth is what has been presented to them during their existence in the cave. When the freed prisoner, who has ventured out of the cave, returns to tell them that their reality is a lie, they are in disbelief. It is easier to continue to believe what they have always been shown, just as it is easier for the abused woman to remain her husband’s follower. Both of these places are retreats of safety and comfort, whether literal or symbolic. However, venturing out in the unknown, though frightening, may prove to be the ultimate enlightenment to change their circumstances.
A perfect example of this is offered in Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers”, when Mrs. Peters, a dedicated and dutiful Sheriff’s wife is forced to look past her husband’s badge and test her true feelings. Mrs. Peters is portrayed as a woman who stands by her husband and acts in his best interest, carrying a high regard for him and her duties as his wife. She represents a woman who puts her true opinions and values aside in order to abide by her husband’s beliefs and the law.
However, Mrs. Peters is put in a precarious situation when her heart and womanly compassion are pulled by certain circumstances presented to her. When Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale discover Minnie Foster’s deceased songbird wrapped elegantly in a beautiful box, they begin to mend together a series of events leading to Mr. Wright’s murder. The women have what seems like only moments to decide Minnie’s fate when the men approach the house, knowing all the while that this evidence would surely convict her of the murder.
Surprisingly, Mrs. Peters conceals the evidence in her coat pocket, hiding it from her husband and the town attorney, doing so without hesitation. Perhaps Mrs. Peters could empathize with Minnie Foster, knowing what it is like to live a life as your husband’s property. Mrs. Peters, if only for that moment, abandoned her persona and judged the situation, not as a Sheriff’s wife, but as a woman with respect for what another had possibly endured.
Here, Mrs. Peters is like the individual who was freed in “The Allegory of the Cave”. The freed prisoner was forced to see something that would change his perspective completely. Mrs. Peters was forced from her own symbolic cave of programmed reactions into a world where the truth became what she made it. The physical pain the freed prisoner felt when he looked upon the fire and the sun for the first time is similar to the emotional pain and anguish that Mrs. Peters must have felt by leaving her duties behind and turning her back on her husband.
When Susan Glaspell wrote “A Jury of Her Peers”, which was a short version of her play Trifles, she based the story upon an actual homicide case from December 1, 1900 in Indianola, Iowa (“Justifiable”). The man who was murdered, John Hossack, was believed to have been abusive to his wife, which led her to murder him in his sleep. Since Glaspell based her story on these events, the reader can assume that Mr. Wright is a representation of John Hossack, and was therefore abusive to Minnie Foster.
Psychologically, Minnie was a people-pleaser and easily manipulated and influenced by her husband and his dominant nature. Since she lived so far from the rest of the community, she had no close friends or relatives to confide in on a regular basis. Therefore, leaving Minnie little choice but to suppress her feelings and emotions and keep the same buried deep within her, carrying that great burden daily and adding regularly to the heap.
She probably didn’t have much interest in life and merely accepted her unhappy situation knowing that she had nowhere else to go. During the time period, women who talked negatively of their husbands were frowned upon (“Justifiable”). Therefore, Minnie probably kept quiet to keep from causing trouble.
At some point, Minnie got a songbird and made a deep connection with this lovely animal, finally bringing life and happiness into her home. The bird must have been an annoyance to Mr. Wright singing all day long and stealing all of Minnie’s attention and devotion. Mr. Wright’s annoyance and possible jealously led him to kill the songbird.
Upon the bird’s death, Minnie, who had lost the only friend she had and the only thing that brought her joy, became plagued with anger. Since she had previously suppressed all of her sadness and hurt, she had much anger brewing inside her. Her suppressed feelings were forced up into an overflow of uncontrollable feelings and unmanageable thoughts. This is what led Minnie to murder her husband in his sleep. He took her life and she took his in return.
Mr. Wright must have felt quite content in knowing that he had much control over his wife and took pleasure in dominating her. He would never have thought that his wife would seek revenge for his actions or suspected that she would actually be successful.
Sometimes what we believe to be true is actually not the truth at all. Socrates, in “The Allegory of the Cave” states that “the truth would be nothing but the shadows of the images.” When in actuality, stepping out of the cave proves that the shadows are not the true reality and that the image only causes the shadow, therefore the image is the real reality.
Mr. Wright’s belief that he could impose upon Minnie any form of abuse or cruelty represents the shadow. Mr. Wright represents the prisoner believing that the shadow is reality. Minnie, therefore, represents the actual image, the reality, whereas she broke free of her cave by proving the shadow wrong.
In addition, Minnie became comfortable with her unpleasant life in a sense because it was all that she knew and had. Similarly, the individuals in the cave were comfortable with the belief that the shadows were reality because that is all they knew. Leaving the cave was a fearful and unplanned experience, just as the murder of Minnie’s husband was fearful and unforeseen terrain.
It is not surprising that Minnie would have felt so betrayed by her husband for killing the songbird and that she would have hurt him from an overwhelming flow of uncontrollable emotion. She experienced great trauma forcing her to have a strong outburst of anger in retaliation. The combination of this anger and the low self-worth that Minnie probably acquired from the years of abuse, combined with the loss of her songbird and her depression could have easily forced her to lose control of her emotions and lose sight of right and wrong.
In “A Jury of Her Peers” it is no secret that the men have an unvarying impression of the women. They make a comment about the women worrying over trifles and that the women would never even know evidence if they found it. The men speak condescendingly to the women throughout the story as if the business of a homicide investigation is far beyond their intellectual reach.
Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, however, prove the men wrong by not only discovering evidence but by making a logical conclusion of the events that led up to the murder. They take their intellect one step further by deciding to conceal the evidence from the men, knowing that it would surely convict Minnie Foster of her husband’s murder.
The men, too quick to judge the intellectual capacity of their spouses, make them similar to the individuals in the cave choosing to continue to believe that the delusion before them is truth and by refusing to journey to the outside. This ignorance will lead the characters in both stories to follow a delusion and see only what they choose to see, not wanting to experience or even try another road for fear that it will be too much for them to handle. In another sense, the women, by concealing the evidence, choose to leave the cave and explore a different domain unknown to them even with fear of the unknown. After all, “the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort,” said Socrates.
The connection between “The Allegory of the Cave” and “A Jury of Her Peers” is represented by the ability of the individuals in both stories to ultimately choose their reality. The dominance in “A Jury of Her Peers” is represented by the male characters and “The Allegory of the Cave” by the shackles that hold the prisoners in place and the dishonesty of the men parading the shadows before them. In “A Jury of Her Peers” this dominance is overcome by the women who choose to step out of their caves, dismissing the shadows as lies and embracing the truth. In “The Allegory of the Cave,” though the freed prisoner encourages the others to see the real truth, they decline. They are similar to the men in Glaspell’s story choosing to believe what has been taught to them and dismiss all possibility.
Dominance can have a profound affect on the holder of such power, making them ignorant of the truth as both stories have shown. In addition, it can have a deep impact on the individual being dominated. They must decide whether to live in another’s reality according to their rules and values, succumbing to the darkness of the cave. If they choose to abandon the cave; however, their journey of enlightenment is sure to begin.

Work Cited
Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” 1929. A Jury of Her Peers (Short Stories). Hadley, MA: Creative Education, 1992.
“Justifiable Homicide or Willful Murder.” Anamosa State Penitentiary. 5 Oct 2002. 28 Mar 2008
Plato. “The Allegory of the Cave.” The Republic. Book VII. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 11 Apr 2008

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I have submitted my term paper to this blog because it is based upon Susan Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" and the relationship between the men and the women in this story.

Posted by: T. Wineland at May 1, 2008 10:57 AM

Chera Pupi
April 23, 2008
EL267
Dr. Hobbs
“I Can Do Anything You Can Do Better”: Examining Gender Inequality in “A Jury of Her Peers” and The Sun Also Rises
It has become quite clear to me throughout my study of literature that authors write about events and situations occurring in the time period in which they are writing or in which their writing takes place. In both Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers,” and Earnest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, this is inherently evident through the realistic portrayals of the main characters and their experiences. Gender inequality plays a large role in both of these works in some form or another, reflecting the surrounding historical and societal events of the time periods they are set in. Although the two works are similar in that they both contain gender inequalities, they differ in the genders that are portrayed as or referred to as unequal. Through the character’s actions and dialogue, it is quite clear that women in “A Jury of Her Peers,” and men in The Sun Also Rises, are indeed unequal to the opposite gender within the individual stories, and are somehow inferior.
The men in “A Jury of Her Peers” constantly degrade the women’s livelihood and intelligence. From the first paragraph of “A Jury of Her Peers,” it is very obvious that for the women in the story, housekeeping duties and home-life are their primary concerns. Mrs. Hale, for example, is constantly worrying about leaving her kitchen work “half done,” and the importance becomes much clearer as the story progresses with the kitchen as the primary setting. The men’s degrading comments also become more prevalent as the story goes on. Both the sheriff and the county attorney make numerous remarks about the “insignificance of kitchen things,” and the attorney even goes as far as insulting Mrs. Wright’s housekeeping abilities: “Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say ladies?” (Glaspell 6). It never once crosses his mind that the dirty towels may be a result of the man he sent earlier to build the fire; when Mrs. Hale tries to stand up to him, he shuts her down quickly remarking and laughing, ”Ah, loyal to your sex, I see” (Glaspell 6). He does not value her personal opinion at all or see her as an individual, instead, he sees her as a generic figure representing a gender.
Other evidence of women’s inferiority in “A Jury of Her Peers” is the fact that the women do not have their own identities. For the majority of the story, the women are referred to as “Mrs. [husband’s last name]” indicating that they are no one without their husbands. The fact that they only refer to their own husbands as “Mr.…” suggests a sense formality and distance between the husbands and wives, emphasizing their inequality and inferiority. Similarly, Mrs. Hale informs the audience that Minnie Foster was a totally different person before she married John Wright: “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively—when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls, singing in the choir” (Glaspell 9). She had her own identity until she married John, becoming nothing more than Mrs. Wright.
The women’s inferiority to their husbands is apparent through their husbands’ treating them as property. They order the women around as though they are dogs. “‘Martha!’ now came her husband’s impatient voice. ‘Don’t keep folks waiting out here in the cold’” (Glaspell 1). Likewise, John Wright kept Minnie secluded and refused to allow her any contact with the outside world through a telephone; he stopped her from singing and provided her with no suitable clothing. It is assumed that Minnie enjoyed her bird because it was the only source of company she had. “‘No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird,’ she said after that—“a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too” (Glaspell 16). He not only killed the bird, but he also killed Minnie Foster—the person she used to be, in turn for making her who he wanted her to be.
Perhaps the most convincing evidence of the inequality of women to men is the fact that every single instance in which the men and women are together in a scene, the men are making fun of the women. The men are sure to never let the women forget that they are not equals. In what is possibly one of the most famous lines from the story, Mr. Hale shows his superiority to the women: “‘Oh well,’ said Mrs. Hale’s husband, with good-natured superiority, ‘women are used to worrying over trifles’” (Glaspell 6). He again degrades their livelihood and undermines their intelligence by implying that anything they are concerned about is insignificant. Similarly, Mr. Hale undermines the women’s intelligence by commenting, “But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it?” (Glaspell 7). Ironically, it is the women who find the only clue that would provide the desperately needed motive for John Wright’s murder.
Although the women in “A Jury of Her Peers” are unequal to the men, it is the men in The Sun Also Rises who are the unequal sex. The only instance in which a man is superior to the novel’s main female character, Brett, is in the description of her husband and his poor treatment of her; as a result of his unequal treatment, Bret strives to never again allow a man that superiority. Through an odd role reversal, Brett takes on many “masculine” qualities, and eventually turns to treating men as unequals. She is totally in control of all of the men in her life at every point in the novel, and she uses them accordingly.
Brett is the only female character that the readers get to know in depth; therefore, she is the primary representation of the female gender. She has absolutely no regards for the basic humanity of the men who surround her. She goes from man to man, using them for whatever material or sexual need she has at that moment. “‘Yes, I’ll send him away…You stay here. He’s mad about me, I tell you…sent him for champagne’” (Hemingway 61-62). In the same way, she cheats on her men in front of each other, and causes problems between friends. The drama between the friends slowly progresses to escalation in the last few chapters of the book. For example, in Chapter XVI, this tension finally erupts: “‘Do you think you amount to something, Cohn? Do you think you belong here among us?...Do you think Brett wants you here?...Why don’t you see when you’re not wanted, Cohn? Go away. Go away, for God’s sake…’” (Hemingway 181). Similarly, she causes a fistfight between Cohn and Jake, who called themselves best friends and had no friendship problems before Brett got involved; yet she has no concern whatsoever for the problems she is causing.
Brett does whatever she wants. She never has to concern herself with justifying her actions or proving herself. When Romero questions her “femininity,” and asks her to grow her hair to become more “womanly,” she sends him away replying, “‘I won’t be one of those bitches’” (Hemingway 247). She simply refuses to change herself for a man, regardless of how she feels about him. The men, on the other hand, are constantly concerned with proving their masculinity. This is apparent through Jake’s obvious discomfort and response when Brett comes into the bar with a group of homosexuals. “Somehow they always made me angry. I know they are supposed to be amusing, and you should be tolerant, but I wanted to swing on one, any one, anything to shatter that superior, simpering composure” (Hemingway 28). Jake, particularly because of his impotence, continuously tries to make himself and everyone around him, aware of his masculinity to avoid being grouped in with homosexuals and their feminine qualities. Brett simply does not have to worry about defending her femininity, and she uses her sexuality freely as she pleases, proving that she is the superior gender in this novel.
Jakes inequality to Brett is exceedingly evident in their relationship. She manipulates him and degrades him time and time again. She keeps him close enough and claims that she loves him, yet refuses to be with him because of his impotence; sex is more important than her love for Jake, and she does not hesitate to let him know. For example, when Jake asks, “‘Couldn’t we live together, Brett? Couldn’t we just live together?’” Brett replies, “‘I don’t think so. I’d just tromper you with everybody. You couldn’t stand it’” (Hemingway 62). She does not hesitate or think about Jake’s emotions or needs; rather, she freely asserts her superiority over him by refusing his offer of love, choosing a life of promiscuity and sexual freedom instead—a freedom that no man in the novel possesses.
In both “A Jury of Her Peers” and The Sun Also Rises, gender inequality is not only blatantly apparent, but it also plays a large role in the relationships formed between characters. Through depicting gender inequalities in their works, Glaspell and Hemingway reflect the societal issues related to gender during the time periods in which their works are written and set; as a result, a sense of reality is created for readers making the characters appear as humanlike and relatable as possible, and allowing readers to analyze and compare the characters’ histories to the traits they exemplify. This reality, in addition to the authors’ talent and keen insight into human nature, greatly contributes to the timelessness which eludes these works and allows us to study and understand them all these years after the original publication.

Works Cited
Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” 1929. A Jury of Her Peers (Short Stories).
Hadley, MA: Creative Education, 1992.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954.

Posted by: Chera P at May 1, 2008 11:21 AM

Chera Pupi
April 30, 2008
EL267
Dr. Hobbs
“I Can Do Anything You Can Do Better”: Examining Gender Inequality in “A Jury of Her Peers” and The Sun Also Rises
It has become quite clear to me throughout my study of literature that authors write about events and situations occurring in the time period in which they are writing or in which their writing takes place. In both Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers,” and Earnest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, this is inherently evident through the realistic portrayals of the main characters and their experiences. Gender inequality plays a large role in both of these works in some form or another, reflecting the surrounding historical and societal events of the time periods they are set in. Although the two works are similar in that they both contain gender inequalities, they differ in the genders that are portrayed as or referred to as unequal. Through the character’s actions and dialogue, it is quite clear that women in “A Jury of Her Peers,” and men in The Sun Also Rises, are indeed unequal to the opposite gender within the individual stories, and are somehow inferior.
The men in “A Jury of Her Peers” constantly degrade the women’s livelihood and intelligence. From the first paragraph of “A Jury of Her Peers,” it is very obvious that for the women in the story, housekeeping duties and home-life are their primary concerns. Mrs. Hale, for example, is constantly worrying about leaving her kitchen work “half done,” and the importance becomes much clearer as the story progresses with the kitchen as the primary setting. The men’s degrading comments also become more prevalent as the story goes on. Both the sheriff and the county attorney make numerous remarks about the “insignificance of kitchen things,” and the attorney even goes as far as insulting Mrs. Wright’s housekeeping abilities: “Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say ladies?” (Glaspell 6). It never once crosses his mind that the dirty towels may be a result of the man he sent earlier to build the fire; when Mrs. Hale tries to stand up to him, he shuts her down quickly remarking and laughing, ”Ah, loyal to your sex, I see” (Glaspell 6). He does not value her personal opinion at all or see her as an individual, instead, he sees her as a generic figure representing a gender.
Other evidence of women’s inferiority in “A Jury of Her Peers” is the fact that the women do not have their own identities. For the majority of the story, the women are referred to as “Mrs. [husband’s last name]” indicating that they are no one without their husbands. The fact that they only refer to their own husbands as “Mr.…” suggests a sense formality and distance between the husbands and wives, emphasizing their inequality and inferiority. Similarly, Mrs. Hale informs the audience that Minnie Foster was a totally different person before she married John Wright: “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively—when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls, singing in the choir” (Glaspell 9). She had her own identity until she married John, becoming nothing more than Mrs. Wright.
The women’s inferiority to their husbands is apparent through their husbands’ treating them as property. They order the women around as though they are dogs. “‘Martha!’ now came her husband’s impatient voice. ‘Don’t keep folks waiting out here in the cold’” (Glaspell 1). Likewise, John Wright kept Minnie secluded and refused to allow her any contact with the outside world through a telephone; he stopped her from singing and provided her with no suitable clothing. It is assumed that Minnie enjoyed her bird because it was the only source of company she had. “‘No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird,’ she said after that—“a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too” (Glaspell 16). He not only killed the bird, but he also killed Minnie Foster—the person she used to be, in turn for making her who he wanted her to be.
Perhaps the most convincing evidence of the inequality of women to men is the fact that every single instance in which the men and women are together in a scene, the men are making fun of the women. The men are sure to never let the women forget that they are not equals. In what is possibly one of the most famous lines from the story, Mr. Hale shows his superiority to the women: “‘Oh well,’ said Mrs. Hale’s husband, with good-natured superiority, ‘women are used to worrying over trifles’” (Glaspell 6). He again degrades their livelihood and undermines their intelligence by implying that anything they are concerned about is insignificant. Similarly, Mr. Hale undermines the women’s intelligence by commenting, “But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it?” (Glaspell 7). Ironically, it is the women who find the only clue that would provide the desperately needed motive for John Wright’s murder.
Although the women in “A Jury of Her Peers” are unequal to the men, it is the men in The Sun Also Rises who are the unequal sex. The only instance in which a man is superior to the novel’s main female character, Brett, is in the description of her husband and his poor treatment of her; as a result of his unequal treatment, Bret strives to never again allow a man that superiority. Through an odd role reversal, Brett takes on many “masculine” qualities, and eventually turns to treating men as unequals. She is totally in control of all of the men in her life at every point in the novel, and she uses them accordingly.
Brett is the only female character that the readers get to know in depth; therefore, she is the primary representation of the female gender. She has absolutely no regards for the basic humanity of the men who surround her. She goes from man to man, using them for whatever material or sexual need she has at that moment. “‘Yes, I’ll send him away…You stay here. He’s mad about me, I tell you…sent him for champagne’” (Hemingway 61-62). In the same way, she cheats on her men in front of each other, and causes problems between friends. The drama between the friends slowly progresses to escalation in the last few chapters of the book. For example, in Chapter XVI, this tension finally erupts: “‘Do you think you amount to something, Cohn? Do you think you belong here among us?...Do you think Brett wants you here?...Why don’t you see when you’re not wanted, Cohn? Go away. Go away, for God’s sake…’” (Hemingway 181). Similarly, she causes a fistfight between Cohn and Jake, who called themselves best friends and had no friendship problems before Brett got involved; yet she has no concern whatsoever for the problems she is causing.
Brett does whatever she wants. She never has to concern herself with justifying her actions or proving herself. When Romero questions her “femininity,” and asks her to grow her hair to become more “womanly,” she sends him away replying, “‘I won’t be one of those bitches’” (Hemingway 247). She simply refuses to change herself for a man, regardless of how she feels about him. The men, on the other hand, are constantly concerned with proving their masculinity. This is apparent through Jake’s obvious discomfort and response when Brett comes into the bar with a group of homosexuals. “Somehow they always made me angry. I know they are supposed to be amusing, and you should be tolerant, but I wanted to swing on one, any one, anything to shatter that superior, simpering composure” (Hemingway 28). Jake, particularly because of his impotence, continuously tries to make himself and everyone around him, aware of his masculinity to avoid being grouped in with homosexuals and their feminine qualities. Brett simply does not have to worry about defending her femininity, and she uses her sexuality freely as she pleases, proving that she is the superior gender in this novel.
Jakes inequality to Brett is exceedingly evident in their relationship. She manipulates him and degrades him time and time again. She keeps him close enough and claims that she loves him, yet refuses to be with him because of his impotence; sex is more important than her love for Jake, and she does not hesitate to let him know. For example, when Jake asks, “‘Couldn’t we live together, Brett? Couldn’t we just live together?’” Brett replies, “‘I don’t think so. I’d just tromper you with everybody. You couldn’t stand it’” (Hemingway 62). She does not hesitate or think about Jake’s emotions or needs; rather, she freely asserts her superiority over him by refusing his offer of love, choosing a life of promiscuity and sexual freedom instead—a freedom that no man in the novel possesses.
In both “A Jury of Her Peers” and The Sun Also Rises, gender inequality is not only blatantly apparent, but it also plays a large role in the relationships formed between characters. Through depicting gender inequalities in their works, Glaspell and Hemingway reflect the societal issues related to gender during the time periods in which their works are written and set; as a result, a sense of reality is created for readers making the characters appear as humanlike and relatable as possible, and allowing readers to analyze and compare the characters’ histories to the traits they exemplify. This reality, in addition to the authors’ talent and keen insight into human nature, greatly contributes to the timelessness which eludes these works and allows us to study and understand them all these years after the original publication.

Works Cited
Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” 1929. A Jury of Her Peers (Short Stories).
Hadley, MA: Creative Education, 1992.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954.

__________________________________________________

I submitted my final paper to this particular blog because Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" is one the primary texts that I focused on. I analyzed gender inequality in the story, and argued that the women are inferior to the men in the story; my primary argument for this is the treatment of the women by the men.

Posted by: Chera P. at May 1, 2008 11:24 AM

Jodi Schweizer
Dr. Lee Hobbs
EL 267.01
30 April 2008

Living in mental anguish;
How Hemmingway and Glaspell’s characters mimic real life.

Throughout history, psychology has been an issue that has caused commotion. From the disbelief of its existence in the dark ages, to the execution of those who believed in it during the Reformation, mental health has been argued over for centuries. In modern times, not only is psychology recognized, it is also studied, dissected, taught, and documented. But perhaps more interesting than the study of psychology itself, is the study of abnormal psychology. Authors of literature from the nineteenth century recognized that abnormal was exciting and realized that creating “perfect” characters would not appease readers. A good author knows that two dimensional characters are boring, so painstaking care is given to be sure that the most important characters, or at least the protagonist and antagonist of a story are three dimensional. This is often achieved through the use of psychology, by instilling vices and psychological troubles in the books characters. These “defects” are usually a main contributor to the story line, and the psychological issues themselves are often of dire importance to the story. In both Earnest Hemmingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises and Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers” are classic examples that exhibit three dimensional characters that readers connect with by giving them their own “crosses to bear.” Although The Sun Also Rises and “A Jury of Her Peers” were written at different historical places in time, both stories show the harmful effects caused by many psychological and mental defects that humans experience, especially depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
It has been said that Earnest Hemmingway himself was an alcoholic with severe mental disorders. While Hemmingway was serving in WWI he was hit with machine gun fire and was injured by shrapnel which was embedded in his leg (Wilson, 2007). This wartime experience seems to set the stage for the novel The Sun Also Rises which takes place shortly after WWI in Europe. Although the war has ended, many of the main characters in the novel were involved in the war, either as a soldier like Jake Barnes, or Lady Brett Butler who acted as a nurse to the wounded. This parallel Hemmingway has made to his own life and experience lends itself to suggesting perhaps the antagonist in the book, Jake Barnes is a reflection of the author himself, both physically and mentally. Jake, like Hemmingway, is a war veteran who seems to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to The American Psychiatric Organization, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often occurs after a person has “experienced, witnessed, or has been confronted with an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury. This person’s response may have involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror (www.psych.org).” Undoubtedly, as Hemmingway would have, both Jake Barnes and Lady Brett would have experienced similar life altering situations in the war.
Towards the beginning of the novel, on page 26, we find that Jake is impotent. Although it is not clear if Jake was rendered this way due to a physical injury, or due to witnessing a catastrophic psychological event, what is clear is that Jake is not able to perform sexually. This is the leading reason why Lady Brett will not enter into a relationship with Jake. Even though PTSD is not mentioned in the novel (and may not have technically been discovered at this time in history), it is clear to the reader that Jake is suffering mentally due to the war. The American Psychiatric Organization lists symptoms of PTSD as difficulty in falling asleep, irritability and outbursts of anger, and difficulty concentrating (www.psych.org). Jake displays symptoms of this on pages 31-35, when he describes to the reader that he has difficulty sleeping and cries at night. Like Jake, Lady Brett displays similar symptoms throughout the novel.
Although though Lady Brett is not suffering from impotence, she is showing classic symptoms of PTSD. It seems as though Brett never sleeps, and is up partying constantly. In reverse of Jake’s problem with not being able to have sex, the act of sex itself has become so important to Brett that it seems to run her life. She is constantly out sleeping with different men, at least three of which are mentioned in the novel, Mike, Robert, and Romero. Although she is engaged to Mike, Brett prefers Romero’s exciting way of life, to the mundane with Mike, and ends the engagement. Lady’s Brett character has a physical need so strong that she will not consider a relationship with Jake, whom she loves, because he can not satisfy her sexual needs. Brett lives a very care free existence with no responsibilities, job, or worries to speak of. This partying environment works in conjunction with another disorder that is prevalent in those who suffer from PTSD, alcoholism.
Alcohol abuse is a disorder that is exhibited by many characters in Hemmingway’s novel. Alcoholism is a theme that is prevalent throughout the entire book. It is mentioned in every chapter, and every event that takes place during the novel involves alcohol. All of the major characters partake in consuming mass quantities of alcohol frequently throughout the story. The American Psychiatric Organization notes that alcohol abuse or alcoholism is not only a disease in itself, but is also a contributing factor that makes other psychological diseases more difficult to deal with (www.psych.org). The symptoms of alcoholism, according to the APO, include heavy drinking, agitation, insomnia, and anxiety. These symptoms also contribute to the meanness and violence that often take place with excessive drinking (www.psych.org). Both in everyday life, and in “The Sun Also Rises” alcohol is used an escape to avoid personal problems. In the book, Jake is drinking because he is running from his impotence problem, which is ultimately the reason he can’t be with the woman he loves, Brett. Brett is drinking because she can’t get past her sexual issues to be with Jake, because he can’t consummate a relationship. The other characters in the story, such as Robert Cohn, and Brett’s fiancé Mike, also have a link to alcoholism. Cohn drinks every time something does not go the way he hopes that it will. His state of intoxication leads him to physical confrontations with numerous characters including Jake, Mike, and Romero. This reinforces the idea that alcoholism can cause a person to become mean and violent. The character of Mike also idealizes this when he becomes drunk and confrontational after the bull fights. Alcoholism and post traumatic stress disorder are both an underlying cause of one of the most common, yet serious illnesses in the United States today, depression (American Psychiatric Organization).
According to American Psychiatric Organization, classic signs of depression are a loss of interest in normal activities, crying spells, and trouble focusing and concentrating (www.psych.org). All of these are exhibited by Jake throughout The Sun Also Rises”. Although Jake has a job at the newspaper, he can not seem to keep his concentration on his work, and often leaves work to frequent bars mid-day. As shown previously, Jake frequently cries at night over the loss of his manhood and of Brett. Jake also does not seem to be interested in mundane tasks any longer. Work bores him, writing has become a hassle to him, and all he wants to do is drink and travel around Europe.
Lady Brett also exhibits signs of depression, but in a different form. It appears, according to the American Psychiatric Organization that Brett is suffering from a manic bi-polar disorder. She is showing all of the signs, such as, an inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, and reckless involvement in pleasurable activity (www.psych.org). Lady Brett knows that when she walks into a room, she is the center of attention. This is told to the reader by Hemmingway on page 22. She uses her attractiveness to her advantage by partaking in sexual encounters with men that she does not know and being out for days at a time without sleeping.
Earnest Hemmingway makes it easy for the reader to recognize the psychological issues that are going on in his book. However, not all authors make the symptoms so glaringly obvious. The character in Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers”, Minnie Foster is never even directly met by the reader. Glaspell introduces Minnie, who is being accused of killing her husband, through the conversations of her neighbors Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. The women are in the downstairs of Minnie’s house discussing the situation while the men are upstairs investigating the crime scene. Although the reader never meets Minnie “face to face” it is easy to draw conclusions with the help of the author’s descriptions to the type of life she was forced to lead with her husband, which included depression, and most likely Battered Women’s Syndrome.
As stated earlier, one of the classic symptoms of depression is a loss of interest in daily activities (American Psychiatric Organization). Minnie, being a famer’s housewife, had many daily duties such as housework, canning fruits, and mending or sewing. Throughout the story it is shown that Minnie has neglected this work. The kitchen is in disarray when the authorities and the women arrive. Women, the men say, are consumed by their housework, and “trifles,” but Minnie has left the kitchen a mess. Her canning was not tended to properly, causing the jars to all break. When the Mrs. Hale finds the sewing Minnie has been working on, the stitching is zigzagged and uneven. All of these are signs that Minnie was neglecting tasks that would have been simple for her to perform.
A contributor to Minnie’s depression was most likely Battered Women’s Syndrome. According to abuse.com, battered women’s syndrome isn’t just about battery; it is about power and control (National Women’s Health Information Center.) Some men have an issue with needing power, and gain such power by controlling their wives. This is shown to be happening in the story “A Jury of Her Peers” in many ways. First, the women mention that they have not seen Minnie outside the house in years. This exhibits the first sign of Battered Women’s Syndrome, isolation. Mr. Hale mentions near the beginning of the story that he wanted the Foster’s to purchase a telephone but Mr. Foster said “no”. With holding money from Mrs. Foster and keeping her disconnected from the outside world shows the second sign of abuse, economic abuse. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters talk about the way that Minnie used to be, before she was married. She is described as being vibrant, full of life, and a beautiful singer. Mrs. Hale states that she hasn’t heard Minnie sing in years. When people give up doing things that they love, and become withdrawn, this is a sign of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is also one of the ways that a man intimidates a woman who is being battered by him. Finally, the last sign of battered women’s syndrome is intimidation. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters discover a broken bird cage in the kitchen. They surmise that the bird belonged to Minnie and her husband broke the door because its singing annoyed him. A few lines later, Mrs. Hale finds the dead bird, its neck broken, in a sewing box of Minnie’s. Mr. Foster breaking the neck of the only real friend Minnie had shows that he intimidated Minnie into doing what he asked of her, and set an example of what could happen to her.
Authors often use psychological defects in characters to make them more appealing to the readers, and to give the reader a way to connect with the character. This is exhibited by many characters in Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises and in Susan Glaspell’s short story, “A Jury of Her Peers.” However, what would happen if these writers had left out the psychological backgrounds of the characters? Would Jake be considered “weird” or “odd” because he was impotent? Would the reader think differently of Minnie if the author did not foreshadow the fact that she was being abused? Would she have just been seen as a cold blooded killer? As in real life today, the psychological factors of people are sometimes just as important as the lives they lead.


Works Cited

American Psychiatric Association. 18 April 2008.
Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” 1929. A Jury of Her Peers (Short Stories).
Hadley, MA: Creative Education, 1992.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Charles Scribener’s Sons, 1926.
National Women’s Health Information Center. March 2003. 10 April 2008.
Wilson, M. The Hemingway Resource Center. 30 November 2007. 15 April 2008.


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I posted my final paper under the Susan Glaspell entry because her work "A Jury of Her Peers" was crucial to my papers theory that authors immitate life through psychololgy and mental illness. The character of Minnie was important to proove my thesis that depression is a major disease reflected in literature.

Posted by: Jodi S at May 1, 2008 09:46 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at May 6, 2008 10:49 AM

Josh Green
Professor Hobbs
Eng 122 CA17
2/4/09

Glaspell, Susan. “Trifles.” Writing about Literature by Edgar V. Roberts. Brief 11th ed. Upper Saddle River. NJ: Pearson, 2006.269-277.

Point Of View
In Susan Glaspell’s short play Trifles, it’s easy to see that there are many different first person points of view from all the different characters. Each character has his or her, own outlook on the mysterious murder of Mr. Wright. Glaspell carefully distinguishes the motive of the women from the motives of the men in this play. When Minnie Wright is first found outside of her house and her husband still lie inside dead, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Peters, and Mr. Hale, instinctively believe that Minnie must be responsible for this horrible murder. As the men try their hardest to gather evidence or clues about the murder, the women quietly discuss Minnie’s past life amongst themselves. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale recall Minnie’s joyous and lively manner before her marriage with John Wright. In a way the women feel a great deal of sympathy for Minnie because all of her spirit seemed to die over the years. While the men scour the home for clues, the women find an empty birdcage but neither of the women could remember if Minnie ever had a bird, but Mrs. Hale remembers that Minnie did have a beautiful singing voice when she was younger. Their find takes on tragic significance when Mrs. Hale opens Minnie’s sewing box and discovers a small canary wrapped in a piece of silk with a broken neck. This was compelling evidence against Minnie but the women choose to hide their findings from the men because they feel sympathy for her. The women protect Minnie because they can understand the gender bias of their society and they often have to look out for one and other. So I believe the main point of view from the women in the play is strictly in Minnie’s favor and very subjective while the men were out only to get the facts which gave them an objective view on the murder.

Posted by: Josh Green at February 9, 2009 09:29 PM

English Blog Entry


Jazmine Dixon
Dr.Hobbs
English 122 CA05 A Jury of Her Peers
13 Jan 2013

Question: After finding out about the fate of the bird, does Mr. Wright's method of death seem more significant?


Answer: The fact that the bird was found dead in a box and had been strangled, does make Mr. Wright’s method of death seem more significant being that he was also found strangled to death. Before the marriage Minnie is described as “kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and fluttery"(glaspell 165). The bird being cage symbolizes how Minnie is trapped in her marriage which is an abusive one. Mr. Wright took the life out of Minnie by being abusive and controlling to her. He also strangled the bird so Minnie killed him just as he had killed her spirit and took the bird’s life.

Posted by: Jazmine Dixon at January 14, 2013 02:42 PM

Jade Lowe and Vintoria
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 A Jury of Her Peers

Question: John Wright doesn't want to get a telephone. What does this tell us about his character?

Answer: John Wright said, "people talked too much anyway and all he wanted was peace and quiet". This tells us that John was very reserved and kept to himself. (Found information in the first paragraph on page 3)

Posted by: Jade Lowe at January 14, 2013 08:15 PM

Sade Loiseau
Angie Fortunak
Dr.Hobbs
Eng. 122
14 January 2013

Question: The women follow the men into the kitchen. Is this significant?

Answer: No it isn't significant because the passage says "I'm glad you came with me," Mrs.Peters said nervously, as the two women were about to follow the men in through the kitchen door.( Page 1, Paragraph 8). Therefore it doesn't say the women went inside the kitchen, but did follow though.

Posted by: Sade Loiseau and Angie Fortunak at January 14, 2013 08:32 PM

Question: How do the men and women investigate differently?Why don't the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer: The women seemed to do more investigating and looked at the details more thoroughly while the men just assume the wife's guilt instead of looking at evidence. For example, when the men are scornful of the messy kitchen, they just dismiss what it contains. The sheriff comments that there is "nothing here but kitchen things" (page 5) while the women believe that there is a reason behind the messiness of the kitchen. The men are not investigating and looking through the house, while the women on the other hand are looking around the house finding more evidence to the crime. The women seemed to do more work and payed more attention to details then did the men.

Posted by: Analisa Johnson and Marlie gonzalez at January 15, 2013 09:24 PM

Alexia Chambers


Dr. Hobbs


ENG 122 CA04


January 15, 2013




20.) After finding out about the fate of the bird, does Mr. Wright's method of death seem more significant?




Yes, in the beginning we find out Minnie’s husband died from a rope around his neck. When Ms. Hale and Mrs. Peters find the bird in the box they see its neck has been twisted. The women know Minnie wouldn’t have done it because she loved the bird enough to wrap it in silk and put it in a special box, the women think it was a cat but Minnie does not own a cat. They remember the broken door on the birdcage and connect the death of Minnie’s bird and her husband. The husband must have killed the bird by cutting off its air supply so Minnie killed him by cutting off his air supply.

Posted by: Alexia Chambers at January 15, 2013 09:36 PM

Brynn Laverdure
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
15 January 2012

Question: Is there any significance of how the men crisscross the house several times, moving from different rooms to the barn? How does it make
their investigation seem?

Answer: Yes I believe there is much significance behind the men crisscrossing the same house several times. It seems to be because they do not like the women and they think they are beneath them. The men would make smart remarks like "Here's a nice mess"(Glaspell 6). It makes it seem as though their search is biased.

Posted by: Brynn Laverdure at January 15, 2013 10:35 PM

4.)Is there any significance of how the men crisscross the house several
times, moving from different rooms to the barn? How does it make
their investigation seem?

The men clearly do not like the women. They do not think they can trust them to help with the investigation. They check rooms the women were assigned and critique them.
"Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder, and worrying about her preserves!"
This would not be said today, it is a very sexist comment.

Posted by: Jennifer Evans at January 15, 2013 11:39 PM

Briyana Aiken
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA08 A Jury Of Her Peers
16 January 2013
Question: The men say that women worry over “trifles.” What is a “trifle”?
Trifles are little things or things that dont really need to be worried about. "I guess before we're through with her she may have something more serious than preserves to
worry about."
"Oh, well," said Mrs. Hale's husband, with good-natured superiority, "women are used to worrying
over trifles."
"The two women moved a little closer together. Neither of them spoke." (Glaspell,6) While the sherriffs were trying to figure out who the murderer was, they werent paying attention to the litte details.(trifles)In the end, the women were smart because the little details tell alot about the events that led up to the murder.

Posted by: Briyana Aiken at January 16, 2013 01:12 AM

Jordan Miller, Jasmine Lowe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122
15 Jan 2012

Question 5: How would you generalize the attitude of the men towards the women?
Answer: The men in the story constantly patronized the women. The men considered the women only good for cleaning, cooking, and doing random house work. Every house was supposed to be clean and tidy for them, when entered. When the county attorney entered the house he commented on the look of her towels stating, "Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?" (Glaspell, 6). That statement alone showed that the men really gave little to no respect or care about women. As if it was the other ladies responsibilities to make sure that Mrs. Wrights towels were clean. The men even looked down upon the things they worried about, stating that worrying about petty things or “trifles” was a woman’s job, and that that is what they were good for (Glaspell, 6). The men treated the women with very little respect and it is seen throughout the whole story.

Posted by: Jordan Miller, Jasmine Lowe at January 16, 2013 01:30 AM


Habib Balde
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA04
January 16 2013

Question: After finding out about the fate of the bird, does Mr. Wright’s method death seem more significant?

I believe that the fate of the bird reflect how Mr. Wright was murdered. Mr. Wright’s wife Minnie Wright loved to sing and was considered to be free spirited. With the death of the bird and singing eventually stopped triggered a sort of delusion. Mr. Wright was strangled to death by his wife; in her state of mind I believe that she took his voice and "silenced" him when she murdered him.

-----------------------------------------

Allison Knipe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08
17 January 2013

Question: What does Mrs. Wright's behavior suggest about her state of mind?

Answer: Mrs. Right's behavior suggests that there is something wrong with her state of mind. It suggests that she may have some sort of psychiatric problem. Her behavior in the story showed that she had changed. On page 5, she is getting questioned by the police and she is unconcerned about her husband's death. The police look around the house and the house is not like Mrs. Wright's usual house. This showed that she had been changing for the worse.

Posted by: Habib Balde at January 16, 2013 02:07 AM

Tori Thomas and Kiara M Burgos Diaz
Dr Hobbs
ENG122CA08
4September2013

Question: Why do the woman sympathize with Mrs. Wright? Does their sympathy grow in stages in response to various events? Why do they defend her to the men?

Answer: The Women sympathized with Mrs. Wright because they understood her life and everything she suffered from before this event. Mrs. Hale remained the same throughout the entire story expecting to find Minnie anywhere in the house. She also believed from the very beginning that Mrs. Wright was innocent. Her sympathy did grow almost to the point when she blames herself for not doing something to prevent this event from happening, like she stated in the story “I stayed away because it weren’t cheerful-and that’s why I ought to have come”. This is basically saying she regrets not doing something to prevent this. The woman defends Mrs. Wright because the men honestly could never understand what happened or what she has experienced.

Posted by: Tori Thomas at September 4, 2013 03:38 PM

Question: What was Mrs. Wrights motive?

Answer: Mrs. Wright was found to be a person of great life and love in her youngest years, but she became redundant and made a decision that changed her life. I think her motive based off her Lack and focus of compassion in her life. She had finally been pushed to her lowest “breaking” point. Jail was not a place Mrs. Wright belongs to. The women were worried she was going to get hurt in jail. Mr. Paul stated, “I guess before we’re through with her she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about.”

Posted by: Tori Thomas at September 4, 2013 04:23 PM

Kiara Michelle Burgos Diaz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA 08 Academic Writing II
5 September 2013

Question: How would you generalize the attitude of the man towards the women? Vice-versa?

Answer: In the story the attitude of the men toward the women was one of superiority. We can appreciate this, when in one of the conversations Mr. Hale said with good-natured superiority: “... women are used to worrying over trifles” (A Jury of Her Peers 6). Throughout the story, the men constantly criticize saying commentaries like: “Dirty towels not much of a housekeeper…” (A Jury of Her Peers 6); to what Mrs. Hale react to such commentaries and defending Mrs. Wright with the argument: “Those towels get dirty awful quick. Men’s hand are not always as clean as they might be” (A Jury of Her Peers 6). The men more than feel offended for this argument they take it as a joke and reply “Ah, loyal to your sex, I see…” (A Jury of Her Peers 6). Besides this, they also treat women like they did not know much about anything other than the house work. Proof of this is when the county attorney said: : “But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it” (A Jury of Her Peers 7).

Another way that we can notice they wrong way that the males treat the women in the story, is that they take them for granted. When the county attorney said: “… a sheriff’s wife is married to the law” (A Jury of Her Peers 18); shows that they would not pay attention about what they were doing. This behavior lead the women to refrain share their discover with them, and making the women quieten about Mrs. Wright and her motive.

Posted by: Kiara M Burgos Diaz at September 5, 2013 12:57 AM

Sade Loiseau
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
6 September 2013

Question 9: How has Mrs. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale? Why?
Answer: When Mrs. Wright was young she use to dress pretty. As year went by after her husband death she changed. “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively--when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls, singing in the choir. But that--oh, that was twenty years ago (Susan Glaspell - Page 9)". She has changed drastically and her manner as well.

Posted by: Sade Loiseau at September 5, 2013 07:00 PM

Sade and Luis
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
6 September 2013

Question 7: What does Mrs. Wright's behavior suggest about her state of mind?
Answer: Mrs. Wright’s behavior after the death of her husband explains a lot. Her state of mind is now “free”. Subsequently of killing her husband, everyone see that she was a different person. And the bird is the symbol of how she is.

Posted by: Sade and Luis at September 5, 2013 07:02 PM

Question #29: How do you think a real-life, modern-day version of the crime would play out?




Answer: As a Criminal Justice major, I believe that if the crime was committed in 2013, the crime and investigation would have gone differently. First, the wives of the men would not have been present during the investigation. The women would not have been allowed to touch anything in the home or even know what happened during the investigation. There would have been a team of people that knew what kind of evidence to look for within the home. Another aspect that I believe would change is that Mrs. Wright would have most likely left the scene or acted as if someone else had committed the crime. She would not have stayed in the rocking chair (Glaspell 3) or calmly and dully told Mr. Hale that Mr. Wright was dead (Glaspell 4). If it was known that Mrs. Wright committed the crime and stayed to be discovered, her lawyer would tell her to plead insanity. Also, the interview of Mr. Hale would not have been held at the home where the crime had occurred. These are a few of the aspect of the crime and investigation that would have gone differently in this modern day.

Posted by: Maryerie Rojas at September 5, 2013 08:40 PM

Rebecca Liller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122-CA08 Academic Writing II
September 5th, 2013

Question 24: The unfinished dishes are a part of the setting. How do the men interpret this? How do the women interpret this?
Answer: The unfinished dishes are a part of the setting because it reflects the men and women’s outlook of life in two different ways. The men interpret the dishes as Mrs. Wright being lazy and not keeping up with the housework. The women on the other hand knew something serious must have happened in her home because Mrs. Wright is not the type of woman who would leave her house unclean and filthy. In the Wright home, the house overall is very small and not the most fancy house on the street. However, Mrs. Wright always did the best she could to keep the house looking the best it could. When this incident happened with her husband, the house was a mess. The dishes were messy, but also many things in the home were out of place. The women seem to have known Mrs. Wright better than the men did. The men just put a label on her as lazy, but the women are more understanding of the situation as they know this is not the way Mrs. Wright would ever run her home, as messy and unkempt. The men and women both had very different ideas about Mrs. Wright and the way she kept her home, and through the setting, the plot of the story starts to unfold.

Posted by: Rebecca Liller at September 5, 2013 10:00 PM

Julieann Sauter
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
6 September 2013

Question: How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the
men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer:
The men and women investigated the crime scene very differently in the story “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell. The men cared only about the facts and the principle of the matter. The women cared about why Mrs. Hale killed her husband. When at the crime scene, the men looked around the house for things such as weapons and possible ways Mrs. Hale could have killed her husband. When the women were looking, they noticed things such as the broken bird cage and the fruit in the cabinet to keep the jars from bursting when the weather turned cold. They tried to use their observations as clues to figure out what triggered Mrs. Hale’s sudden urge to murder Mr. Hale. When the men heard the women talking Mr. Peters said, "Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder, and worrying about her preserves!" (Glaspell 6). The men were unable to see why these clues were so important. Because of this, they were never able to find out the real reason for the murder. When the women made their conclusions, they realized the men would not understand, therefore keeping the details to themselves.

Posted by: Julieann Sauter at September 6, 2013 12:51 AM

Madison Owens
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing II
5 September 2013

Question #11: "The county attorney says that "a sheriff's wife is married to the law." Is this true? Does this seem to match with Mrs. Peter's characterization?"

Answer: In a perfect society, this would be true. We have to face it though, sometimes the "sheriff" doesn't even abide by the law. In the case of Mrs. Peters, I would say that she gained a title that does not fit her personal characteristics. You can see throughout the story that she is naturally a nervous woman. She does not speak out like you would normally expect a wife of such high authority to do. Mrs. Hale takes note of this during the journey to the Wright's home thinking, "Mrs. Gorman, sheriff's wife before Gorman went out and Peters came in, had a voice that somehow seemed to be backing up the law with every word. But if Mrs. Peters didn't look like a sheriff's wife, Peters made it up in looking like a sheriff" (Glaspell 1). Mrs. Peters is portrayed as such a soft spoken person, it's hard to believe that she would be one to put her foot down and confront someone about obeying the law. We even see in the end of the story that she doesn't exactly show all honesty herself. This is revealed to us in the fifth to last paragraph saying, "For a moment Mrs. Peters did not move. And then she did it. With a rush forward, she threw back the quilt pieces, got the box, tried to put it in her handbag. It was too big. Desperately she opened it, started to take the bird out. But there she broke-she could not touch the bird. She stood there helpless, foolish" (Glaspell 19). We see in this closing paragraph that Mrs. Peters felt sorry for Mrs. Wright and wanted to protect her by hiding the items that showed her motive, though all evidence pointed to the fact that she murdered her husband and this clearly was against the law. There was an understanding between the woman that Mrs. Wright only wanted a way out and Mrs. Peters honored this understanding by not acting as if she was "married to the law", but acting in a sympathetic manner towards the entire situation.

Posted by: Madison Owens at September 6, 2013 01:36 AM

Tyiasha Bailey
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing 2
5 Sep 2013

Question: "Why don't the women tell the men what they've found out?"

Answer: The women did not tell the men what they've found out because they felt remorse for Minnie Wright. Mrs. Peters says " The picture of that girl, the fact that she had lived neighbor to that girl for twenty years, and had let her die for lack of life, was suddenly more than she could bear ( Maupassant 17) shows how remorseful she was for Minnie Wright. The women were also afraid that with the evidence they found, Mrs. Peters husband would have convicted Minnie of the murder of her husband, Mr. Wright.

Posted by: Tyiasha Bailey at September 6, 2013 03:06 AM

Tyiasha Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing 2
5 Sept 2013

Question: The men say that women worry over "trifles." What is a "trifle"?

Answer: A trifle is something that has little value or importance.

Posted by: Tyiasha Bailey at September 6, 2013 03:20 AM

Ti'rani Rye
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122-CA08 Academic Writing II
05 September 2013

Question: “At the end of the story, do the women think she is guilty of a crime?”
Answer: Yes, I believe the women thought she was guilty and even went a ways to cover up her crime by taking and hiding the bird. “Then Martha Hale's eyes pointed the way to the basket in which was hidden the thing that would make certain the conviction of the other woman--that woman who was not there and yet who had been there with them all through that hour.” The thing in the basket was the bird and hiding the bird would hide the conviction. The conviction that was a crime they believed the woman committed.

Posted by: Ti'rani Rye at September 6, 2013 11:16 AM

Ryan MacCarthy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
6 September 2013


Question: 2.) John Wright doesn't want to get a telephone. What does this tell us about his character?

Answer: As John Wright does not want to get a telephone, it tells us a lot about this specific character. It tells us that he is really a quiet and shy man that although he seemingly talks a lot, he does not like to converse with other people. Hale explained to Henderson why John did not want a telephone, “I'd spoke to Wright about it once before; but he put me off, saying folks talked too much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet--guess you know about how much he talked himself” (Glaspell 3). John not getting a telephone is important for his character because it tells us about his shyness rather than his talkative personality.

Posted by: Ryan MacCarthy at September 6, 2013 12:20 PM

Luis Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122
6 September 2013

Question 9 –How has Mrs. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale? Why?
Mrs. Wright was described as “real sweet and pretty” on page 14. This gives the notion of cool, calm and collected woman who has her life straightened out. As the story progresses we learn that Mrs. Wright has changed her ways. The untidy cupboard, dirty towels and single dissimilar quilt patch are all proof of Mrs. Wrights changing persona. It is evident that Mrs. Wright has changed over the years from her husband’s attitude towards her. On page 16 we are introduced to the idea that Mr. Wright was controlling, the quote “No, wright wouldn’t have liked the bird, a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too.” More evidence of her changing personality is brought up when the weathered chair is mentioned on page 3. The Minnie Foster of 20 years ago would have had a neat & tidy chair and a kitchen to match.

Posted by: Luis Martinez at September 6, 2013 12:52 PM

Emma De Rhodo
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
5 September 2013

Question: #15) “What happens in the story that makes Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters become so close?”


Answer: Martha Hale and Mrs. Peters are first mentioned to be together after Mr. Peters tells Mrs. Hale that Mrs. Peters would like her to join the group in going to the Wrights’ house(1). The women then stay with one another while the men are searching for evidence around the house. Furthermore, they discover disturbing evidence together; this evidence is Mrs. Wright’s dead bird, who appeared to be strangled(5). After the women find the bird, Mrs. Hale makes comments which imply that she believes the husband killed Mrs. Wright’s bird, and the author notes that even Mrs. Peters starts to feel different about the situation than before. The author notes that Mrs. Hale’s comments “found in Mrs. Peters something she did not know about herself”(16). In an attempt to help the woman not be blamed for the murder, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters work together to hide the bird, so the men do not find the evidence in the end of the story(19). The two women, through their dramatic experience together throughout the day, become closer to one another.

Posted by: Emma De Rhodo at September 6, 2013 12:59 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Emma De Rhodo
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
4 September 2013

“What is the significance of the bird? Is it part of the motive, or is it symbolic?”
The bird is hugely significant in the story because it is part of the motive, the central mystery in the story and symbolic of both Mrs. Wright and her husband. The bird’s death is the implied motive of the murder. In life, the bird symbolized Minnie and in death, the bird symbolized Mr. Wright.
The bird is the only thing in the house that is remotely cheerful and beautiful. The rest of the house is dreary. The bird must have been a shining source of hope and cheer in such a suppressive environment. It is pointed out in the story “I should think she would've wanted a bird!"(Glaspell 14). The bird was found strangled and the cage door was ripped open, something Mrs. Write would be incapable of doing so it is implied that Mr. Write killed the bird. His killing the bird, effectively the only thing keeping his wife sane, gives her a motive for killing him.
When the bird was alive and in the cage, it symbolized Mrs. Write. The bird was trapped in a cage just as Minnie is trapped in her house. Both of them are potentially beautiful but are suppressed by their environments. The women describe her as once being cheerful like the bird saying “She used to sing real pretty herself" (Glaspell 12).The bird is found outside of its cage and Minnie breaks free from hers. However, they are both broken in the process.
Once the bird is dead, presumably strangled by Mr. Wright, I can be symbolic of him and how he died. Assuming Mrs. Wright killed her husband, spiraling into mental instability and depression at the loss of her bird, her emotional life line, the manner of Mr. Wright’s murder seems more appropriate. He strangled her and her bird, so she strangled him. He strangled the physical life from the bird with his hands and the emotional life out of Minnie with his house and lifestyle.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield/Emma De Rhodo at September 6, 2013 01:05 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
5 September 2013

The Necklace: Question 3
“Maupassant, the author, writes in the first paragraph that “women have neither rank nor race.” Some translations read “caste or class.” Do you agree with this? Why or why not? What about men: do they have caste or class?”

The wealth and status of women at the time were determined solely by whom they married. They had the potential to marry into wealth or up in social class. Men had far less mobility. Their class determined what jobs they could have, which determined how wealthy they were, which determined what class they fell into. Great upheaval occurred when wealth was achieved without social class, like in The Great Gatsby.

Jury of Her Peers: Question 3
“How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find evidence that the women do?”

The men know very little about the day to day activities of their wives and therefore do not see the significance of many things around the house. The men’s investigation is too broad and big-picture for this particular case. They are searching for a motive that is logical to them. In contrast, the women’s investigation is limited to a few rooms and the specific details of Mrs. Wright, someone who they understand and can sympathize with. Her motive is rooted in deep psychological damage that the other women recognize, not a logical decision that the men can find evidence for.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at September 6, 2013 01:32 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
5 September 2013

Jury of Her Peers: Question 3
“How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find evidence that the women do?”

The men know very little about the day to day activities of their wives and therefore do not see the significance of many things around the house. The men’s investigation is too broad and big-picture for this particular case. They are searching for a motive that is logical to them. In contrast, the women’s investigation is limited to a few rooms and the specific details of Mrs. Wright, someone who they understand and can sympathize with. Her motive is rooted in deep psychological damage that the other women recognize, not a logical decision that the men can find evidence for.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at September 6, 2013 01:59 PM

Ti'rani Rye
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
05 September 2013 (Revised on 6 September 2013)
Question: “At the end of the story, do the women think she is guilty of a crime?”
Answer: Yes, I believe the women thought she was guilty and even went a ways to cover up her crime by taking and hiding the bird. “Then Martha Hale's eyes pointed the way to the basket in which was hidden the thing that would make certain the conviction of the other woman--that woman who was not there and yet who had been there with them all through that hour.” (Glaspell 19) The thing in the basket was the bird and hiding the bird would hide the conviction. The conviction that was a crime they believed the woman committed.

Posted by: Ti'rani Rye at September 6, 2013 02:20 PM

Maryerie Rojas
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 08
7 September 2013

Question #29: How do you think a real-life, modern-day version of the crime would play out?

Answer: As a Criminal Justice major, I believe that if the crime was committed in 2013, the crime and investigation would have gone differently. First, the wives of the men would not have been present during the investigation. The women would not have been allowed to touch anything in the home or even know what happened during the investigation. There would have been a team of people that knew what kind of evidence to look for within the home. Another aspect that I believe would change is that Mrs. Wright would have most likely left the scene or acted as if someone else had committed the crime. She would not have stayed in the rocking chair (Glaspell 3) or calmly and dully told Mr. Hale that Mr. Wright was dead (Glaspell 4). If it was known that Mrs. Wright committed the crime and stayed to be discovered, her lawyer would tell her to plead insanity. Also, the interview of Mr. Hale would not have been held at the home where the crime had occurred. These are a few of the aspect of the crime and investigation that would have gone differently in this modern day.

Posted by: Maryerie Rojas at September 7, 2013 06:42 PM

Rebecca Liller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
5 September 2013

Question 24: The unfinished dishes are a part of the setting. How do the men interpret this? How do the women interpret this?

Answer: The unfinished dishes are a part of the setting because it reflects the men and women’s outlook of life in two different ways. The men interpret the dishes as Mrs. Wright being lazy and not keeping up with the housework. The women on the other hand knew something serious must have happened in her home because Mrs. Wright is not the type of woman who would leave her house unclean and filthy. “Well I don’t see any signs of anger around here” Said Mrs. Hale, “I don’t”- she stopped. It was as if her mind tripped on something. Her eye was caught by a dish towel in the middle of the kitchen table. Slowly she moved toward the table. One half of it was wiped clean, the other half messy. Her eyes made a slow, almost unwilling turn to the bucket of sugar and the half empty bag beside it. Things begun- and not finished.” (Glaspell 10) In the Wright home, the house overall is very small and not the most fancy house on the street. However, Mrs. Wright always did the best she could to keep the house looking the best it could. When this incident happened with her husband, the house was a mess. The dishes were messy, but also many things in the home were out of place. The women seem to have known Mrs. Wright better than the men did. The men just put a label on her as lazy, but the women are more understanding of the situation as they know this is not the way Mrs. Wright would ever run her home, as messy and unkempt. The men and women both had very different ideas about Mrs. Wright and the way she kept her home, and through the setting, the plot of the story starts to unfold.

Posted by: Rebecca Liller at September 8, 2013 06:21 PM

Rebecca Liller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
5 September 2013

Question 24: The unfinished dishes are a part of the setting. How do the men interpret this? How do the women interpret this?

Answer: The unfinished dishes are a part of the setting because it reflects the men and women’s outlook of life in two different ways. The men interpret the dishes as Mrs. Wright being lazy and not keeping up with the housework. The women on the other hand knew something serious must have happened in her home because Mrs. Wright is not the type of woman who would leave her house unclean and filthy. “Well I don’t see any signs of anger around here” Said Mrs. Hale, “I don’t”- she stopped. It was as if her mind tripped on something. Her eye was caught by a dish towel in the middle of the kitchen table. Slowly she moved toward the table. One half of it was wiped clean, the other half messy. Her eyes made a slow, almost unwilling turn to the bucket of sugar and the half empty bag beside it. Things begun- and not finished.” (Glaspell 10) In the Wright home, the house overall is very small and not the most fancy house on the street. However, Mrs. Wright always did the best she could to keep the house looking the best it could. When this incident happened with her husband, the house was a mess. The dishes were messy, but also many things in the home were out of place. The women seem to have known Mrs. Wright better than the men did. The men just put a label on her as lazy, but the women are more understanding of the situation as they know this is not the way Mrs. Wright would ever run her home, as messy and unkempt. The men and women both had very different ideas about Mrs. Wright and the way she kept her home, and through the setting, the plot of the story starts to unfold.

Posted by: Rebecca Liller at September 8, 2013 06:22 PM

Michael Ossolinski
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
8 September 2013

Question: The women follow the men into the kitchen. Is this significant?

Answer: Yes it is significant because they were trying to decide whether the kitchen was left the way it was from the previous day due to a kitchen rush.

Proof: "By the way," he said, "has anything been moved?" He turned to the sheriff. "Are things just as you left them yesterday?"

Posted by: Michael Ossolinski at September 8, 2013 06:24 PM

Kiara Michelle Burgos Diaz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 08
8 September 2013

Question: How would you generalize the attitude of the man towards the women? Vice-Versa?

Answer: In the story the attitude of the men toward the women was one of superiority. We can appreciate this, when in one of the conversations Mr. Hale say with good- nature superiority, “. . . women are used to worrying over trifles” (A Jury of Her Peers 6). Throughout the story, the men constantly criticize the women saying, “Dirty towels not much of a housekeeper” (A Jury of Her Peers 6); this commentaries make Mrs. Hale react and defends Mrs. Wright with the argument, “Those towels get dirty awful quick. Men’s hand are not always as clean as they might be” (A Jury of Her Peers 6). The males more than feel offended countered saying, “Ah, loyal to your sex, I see” (A Jury of Her Peers 6). Besides this, they also treat the females in the story like they do not know much about anything else other than house work. Proof of this is when the county attorney says, “But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it” (A Jury of Her Peers 7).
Another way that we can notice they wrong way that the males treat the women in the story, is that they take them for granted. When the county attorney said, “. . . a sheriff’s wife is married to the law” (A Jury of Her Peers 18). This behavior lead the women to refrain share the things that they discovers with them, and making the women quieten about Mrs. Wright and her motive.

Posted by: Kiara M Burgos Diaz at September 8, 2013 06:54 PM

Madison Owens
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA08
5 September 2013
(Redo)

Question #11: "The county attorney says that "a sheriff's wife is married to the law." Is this true? Does this seem to match with Mrs. Peter's characterization?"

Answer: In a perfect society, this would be true. We have to face it though, sometimes the "sheriff" doesn't even abide by the law. In the case of Mrs. Peters, I would say that she gained a title that does not fit her personal characteristics. You can see throughout the story that she is naturally a nervous woman. She does not speak out like you would normally expect a wife of such high authority to do. Mrs. Hale takes note of this during the journey to the Wright's home thinking, "Mrs. Gorman, sheriff's wife before Gorman went out and Peters came in, had a voice that somehow seemed to be backing up the law with every word. But if Mrs. Peters didn't look like a sheriff's wife, Peters made it up in looking like a sheriff" (Glaspell 1). Mrs. Peters is portrayed as such a soft spoken person, it's hard to believe that she would be one to put her foot down and confront someone about obeying the law. We even see in the end of the story that she doesn't exactly show all honesty herself. This is revealed to us in the fifth to last paragraph saying, "For a moment Mrs. Peters did not move. And then she did it. With a rush forward, she threw back the quilt pieces, got the box, tried to put it in her handbag. It was too big. Desperately she opened it, started to take the bird out. But there she broke-she could not touch the bird. She stood there helpless, foolish" (Glaspell 19). We see in this closing paragraph that Mrs. Peters felt sorry for Mrs. Wright and wanted to protect her by hiding the items that showed her motive, though all evidence pointed to the fact that she murdered her husband and this clearly was against the law. There was an understanding between the woman that Mrs. Wright only wanted a way out and Mrs. Peters honored this understanding by not acting as if she was "married to the law", but acting in a sympathetic manner towards the entire situation.

Posted by: Madison Owens at September 8, 2013 09:19 PM

Julieann Sauter
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 Academic Writing II CA08
6 September 2013

Question: How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the
men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer:
The men and women investigated the crime scene very differently in the story “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell. The men cared only about the facts and the principle of the matter. The women cared about why Mrs. Hale killed her husband. When at the crime scene, the men looked around the house for things such as weapons and possible ways Mrs. Hale could have killed her husband. When the women were looking, they noticed things such as the broken bird cage and the fruit in the cabinet to keep the jars from bursting when the weather turned cold. They tried to use their observations as clues to figure out what triggered Mrs. Hale’s sudden urge to murder Mr. Hale. When the men heard the women talking Mr. Peters said, "Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder, and worrying about her preserves!" (Glaspell 6). The men were unable to see why these clues were so important. Because of this, they were never able to find out the real reason for the murder. When the women made their conclusions, they realized the men would not understand, therefore keeping the details to themselves.

Posted by: Julieann Sauter at September 8, 2013 09:22 PM

Luis Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA08
6 September, 2013
Question 9 –How has Mrs. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale? Why?

Mrs. Wright was described as “real sweet and pretty” on page 14. This gives the notion of cool, calm and collected woman who has her life straightened out. As the story progresses we learn that Mrs. Wright has changed her ways. The untidy cupboard, dirty towels and single dissimilar quilt patch are all proof of Mrs. Wrights changing persona. It is evident that Mrs. Wright has changed over the years from her husband’s attitude towards her. On page 16 we are introduced to the idea that Mr. Wright was controlling, the quote “No, wright wouldn’t have liked the bird, a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too.” More evidence of her changing personality is brought up when the weathered chair is mentioned on page 3. The Minnie Foster of 20 years ago would have had a neat & tidy chair and a kitchen to match.

Posted by: Luis Martinez at September 9, 2013 12:05 AM

Taina Valcarcel
September 9, 2013
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II- CA08
Q:How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the
men find the evidence that the women do?
Answer:
Men and women investigate differently in “A Jury of her Peers,” by the investigation to detail. In the story, the men mainly focused on the scenery and the story that was given by the witness. Women, however, looked deeper into her everyday hobbies and inspected on what was different. In the story, the women investigated how the old lady kept the kitchen, how she left the food out, and how she knitted. All these types of small signs indicated that she was distressed, and so that led to the conclusion that she was miserable. The men looked at the scene of the crime, the living room, and the outside to find clues, but they were not as conclusive as the women’s investigation.

Posted by: Taina Valcarcel at September 9, 2013 04:55 AM

Emma De Rhodo
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
9 September 2013

Question #15): “What happens in the story that makes Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters become so close?”

Answer: Martha Hale and Mrs. Peters are first mentioned to be together after Mr. Peters tells Mrs. Hale that Mrs. Peters would like her to join the group in going to the Wrights’ house(Glasspell 1). The women then stay with one another while the men are searching for evidence around the house. Furthermore, they discover disturbing evidence together; this evidence is Mrs. Wright’s dead bird, who appeared to be strangled(Glasspell 5). After the women find the bird, Mrs. Hale makes comments which imply that she believes the husband killed Mrs. Wright’s bird, and the author notes that even Mrs. Peters starts to feel different about the situation than before. The author mentions that Mrs. Hale’s comments “found in Mrs. Peters something she did not know about herself”(Glasspell 16). In an attempt to help the woman not be blamed for the murder, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters work together to hide the bird, so the men do not find the evidence(Glasspell 19). Also, Mrs. Peters explains that she, as a child, had been very angry when a boy killed her kitten. Mrs. Peters also believes she understands how Mrs. Wright did not like the quiet that came from her bird being killed because she had lost her own child and experienced this awful quietness(Glasspell 16-17). The two women, through their dramatic experience together and their sharing of their opinions and experiences, become closer to one another.

Posted by: Emma De Rhodo at September 9, 2013 09:43 AM

Tyiasha & Alex
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
5 September 2013

Question: "Why don't the women tell the men what they've found out?"

Answer: The women did not tell the men what they've found out because they felt remorse for Minnie Wright. Mrs. Peters says " The picture of that girl, the fact that she had lived neighbor to that girl for twenty years, and had let her die for lack of life, was suddenly more than she could bear (Glaspell 17) shows how remorseful she was for Minnie Wright. The women were also afraid that with the evidence they found, Mrs. Peters husband would have convicted Minnie of the murder of her husband, Mr. Wright.

Posted by: Tyiasha Bailey at September 9, 2013 11:26 AM

Tyiasha & Alex
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
5 September 2013

Question: "Why don't the women tell the men what they've found out?"

Answer: The women did not tell the men what they've found out because they felt remorse for Minnie Wright. Mrs. Peters says " The picture of that girl, the fact that she had lived neighbor to that girl for twenty years, and had let her die for lack of life, was suddenly more than she could bear (Glaspell 17) shows how remorseful she was for Minnie Wright. The women were also afraid that with the evidence they found, Mrs. Peters husband would have convicted Minnie of the murder of her husband, Mr. Wright.

Posted by: Tyiasha Bailey at September 9, 2013 11:26 AM

Tyiasha Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
5 September 2013

Question: The men say that women worry over "trifles." What is a "trifle"?

Answer: A trifle is something that has little value or importance.

Posted by: Tyiasha Bailey at September 9, 2013 11:28 AM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
5 September 2013
Jury of Her Peers: Question 3
“How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find evidence that the women do?”

The men know very little about the day to day activities of their wives and therefore do not see the significance of many things around the house. The men’s investigation is too broad and big-picture for this particular case. They are searching for a motive that is logical to them. In contrast, the women’s investigation is limited to a few rooms and the specific details of Mrs. Wright, someone who they understand and can sympathize with. They recognize things about her in the little details around the house saying, "‘The sewing,’ said Mrs. Peters, in a troubled way, ‘All the rest of them have been so nice and even--but--this one. Why, it looks as if she didn't know what she was about!’" (Gaspell 11).Her motive is rooted in deep psychological damage that the other women recognize, not a logical decision that the men can find evidence for.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at September 9, 2013 12:35 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Emma De Rhodo
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
4 September 2013

“What is the significance of the bird? Is it part of the motive, or is it symbolic?”
The bird is hugely significant in the story because it is part of the motive, the central mystery in the story and symbolic of both Mrs. Wright and her husband. The bird’s death is the implied motive of the murder. In life, the bird symbolized Minnie and in death, the bird symbolized Mr. Wright.
The bird is the only thing in the house that is remotely cheerful and beautiful. The rest of the house is dreary. The bird must have been a shining source of hope and cheer in such a suppressive environment. It is pointed out in the story “I should think she would've wanted a bird!"(Glaspell 14). The bird was found strangled and the cage door was ripped open, something Mrs. Wright would be incapable of doing so it is implied that Mr. Wright killed the bird. His killing the bird, effectively the only thing keeping his wife sane, gives her a motive for killing him.
When the bird was alive and in the cage, it symbolized Mrs. Wright. The bird was trapped in a cage just as Minnie is trapped in her house. Both of them are potentially beautiful but are suppressed by their environments. The women describe her as once being cheerful like the bird saying “She used to sing real pretty herself" (Glaspell 12).The bird is found outside of its cage and Minnie breaks free from hers. However, they are both broken in the process.
Once the bird is dead, presumably strangled by Mr. Wright, I can be symbolic of him and how he died. Assuming Mrs. Wright killed her husband, spiraling into mental instability and depression at the loss of her bird, her emotional life line, the manner of Mr. Wright’s murder seems more appropriate. He strangled her and her bird, so she strangled him. He strangled the physical life from the bird with his hands and the emotional life out of Minnie with his house and lifestyle.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield/Emma De Rhodo at September 9, 2013 12:45 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.


~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at September 11, 2013 11:10 PM

Gabriela Caminero
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12

Question#4
Is there any significance of how the men crisscross the house several times, moving from different rooms to the barn? How does it make their investigation seem?
Answer
There is significance to how the men crisscrossed the house. I believe that the significance of it was how the men looked down to the women and just the fact that they believe that women are not as intelligent as the men are. Because of that factor they were not looking in the room that was right in front of them, the kitchen, which had the answer to the whole mystery. “But would the woman know a clue if they did come upon it” (Glaspell, 7), said one of the men. I believe that they did not look into that room because since it is the room where the women spend most of their day in they found little to no importance to it. Just like an officer said in the story, “Nothing here but kitchen things” (Glaspell, 5). This makes their investigation seen worthless because they were looking in all the wrong places including the barn which had nothing to do with the murder to begin with.

Posted by: Gabriela Caminero at January 21, 2014 03:39 PM

Berlin Waters
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA12
21 January 2014

Question #2:
John Wright doesn't want to get a telephone. What does this tell us about his character?

Answer:
John Wright and his wife, Minnie, lived in a lonesome looking house down in a hollow. They did not have any kids and seemed to keep to themselves. Even their neighbors, the Hales' never went to visit them after 20 or so years. Mr. Hale wanted to stop by to see if John was interested in a telephone, but he said "...he put me off, saying folks talked too much anyway and all he asked was peace and quiet..." (Glaspell 3), suggesting that John was not a very social man and he liked his privacy.

Posted by: Berlin Waters at January 21, 2014 07:17 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA12 Academic Writing II
19 January 2014
The men say that women worry over “trifles.” What is a “trifle”?
A trifle is something of no consequence. The men see no significance in the things that the men are concerned with.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at January 21, 2014 07:27 PM

Sawyer Hand
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA12
21 January 2014

Question: How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the men find the evidence the women do?

Answer: The men and women in this short story have a very different way of investigating the crime in this story. The men take the normal approach to investigating. They are looking for a clear motive for the murder and basically thinking like men always do.
The Women take a different approach. Instead of doing the normal thing you would do at a crime scene they take the point of view of the criminal. They take a women's point of view on everything. This enables them to find the real evidence in the crime. The men are unable to find this evidence because they aren't looking at it from a women's perspective. The men's view on the matter is displayed well when the author writes "They wonder whether she was going to quilt it or just knot it! There was a laugh for the ways of the women." (Glaspell 11). This shows that the men thought the way the women were going about the whole thing was a big joke. The women's approach was shown in lines such as "The sewing...All the rest of them have been so nice and even but--this one." (Glasspell 11). This shows the women thinking from the view point of the woman being accused.

Posted by: sawyer hand at January 21, 2014 09:05 PM

Traneisha Cunningham
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
20 January 2013

QUESTION #10:
When Mrs. Peters says she doesn't know who did it, is she in denial?

ANSWER:
Yes Mrs.Peters is in denial because of her reactions to the question. A frightened looked blurred the other things in Mrs.Peters' eyes. "Oh I dont know", she said, in a voice that seemed to sink away from the other subject (Glaspell 9). There is evidence in this section of the reading that shows Mrs.Peters uncertainty about whether or not the wife murder her husband.

Later on in the reading even after Mrs.Peters and Mrs.Hale find the strangle bird in the box, she still denies who did it. Even when the evidence is pointing to the wife she keeps denying it to the point where she doesnt share with her husband what she ans Mrs.Hale found.

Posted by: Traneisha Cunningham at January 21, 2014 10:43 PM

Makenzie Holler
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA12
21 January 2014

Question #5:
How would you generalize the attitude of the men towards the women?

Answer:
The attitude that the men gave the women was very overpowering. The men treated the women as if they were below them. "Women are used to worrying over trifles"(Glaspell 6). The men thought that the women had nothing important to worry about and that the men did everything right.

Posted by: Makenzie Holler at January 21, 2014 11:24 PM

Sarah A Ellis
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
22 January 2014
A Jury of Her Peers
Question #7:
What does Mrs. Wright’s behavior suggest about her state of mind?
Answer:
Mrs. Wright was sitting in her rocking chair acting mysterious and questionable. Mrs. Wright was starring in the same spot for a long period of time. When people were talking to her, Mrs. Wright replied with very brief answers. Mrs. Wright just lost her husband, so she could have been shocked by his suicide or depressed that she is without her husband. She is convinced that Mr. Wright was murdered.

Posted by: Sarah Ellis at January 22, 2014 12:23 AM

Question #11:
The county attorney says that "a sheriff's wife is married to the law."
Is this true? Does this seem to match with Mrs. Peter's
characterization?

Answer:
"For that matter, a sheriff's wife is married to the law" (Glaspell 30). It is unknown who Mrs. Peters was before she wed. However, in the play she is mostly described as being the Sheriff's wife. Even in the stage directions she is not given a name right away. The beginning stage directions of the play says, "They are followed by the two women - the Sheriff's wife first; she is a slight wiry woman, a thin nervous face" (Glaspell 1).

Posted by: Hubert Reuter at January 22, 2014 10:30 AM

James Jessop
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
21 Jan 2014

Question #8
How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer:
There is a clear difference in the opposite sexes and the way that they investigate. The men, very stubborn in their way of looking and assessing the situations. Describing a situation to a peer as simply “queer” and that almost being accepted as a description of the happenings is a point to back up that opinion. This is very different from the way of the women. They are more clinical, methodical, and use logic to help with their investigative plans.

“But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it?” (Glaspell) is another line that shows the simplicity of the minds of the males investigating in this story. There is a belief somewhere that they are superior to the women, and that women are `not all there`. This is why I personally believe that he evidence found by the women would not have been found by the men, simply from being plain old stubborn.

Posted by: James Jessop at January 22, 2014 10:46 AM

Sergio Velazquez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng122 - ACADEMIC WRITING II CAO1
January/2/2014

Question # 16 Discussion

Why do the women sympathize with Mrs. Wright? Does their
sympathy grow in stages in response to various events? Why do they
defend her to the men?

Women back In Mrs. Wrights day were belittled because there socioeconomic status. Since it was commonplace in this time period, to down play women all of the woman involved in the investigation with the homicide, felt sympathy for her. They felt so moved by Mrs. Wright eternal strife they they took the liberty to move certain items that would sway the case "Martha Hale snatched the box from the sheriff's wife, and got it in the pocket of her big coat just as the sheriff and the county attorney came back into the kitchen." (162).

During these day women were belittled and begrudgingly looked over the investigation, as they vicariously experienced her pain the gain sympathy, and eventually took her defense against men.

Posted by: Sergio Velazquez at January 22, 2014 10:56 AM

Maxx Howarth
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12

Question #17:
Is the exploded jar of cherries significant in any way?

Answer:
Yes, the exploded jar of cherries is an extremely significant piece of symbolism. How so? Well, upon merely hearing of the jars, both Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale immediately drew concern. This was best expressed through Mrs. Peters "looking to Mrs. Hale for sympathetic understanding" and going as far as to explain to the attorney such hard work had been wasted due to a mere fire (Glaspell 6). Whilst on the other hand, Mr. Peters merely laughed at the incident and Mr. Hale commented, "women are used to worrying over trifles" (Glaspell 6).
Therefore, in summary, the symbolism of the jars bursting is of the gender differences within the story, thus foreshadowing the women's rebellion.

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.


~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Maxx Howarth at January 23, 2014 07:19 PM

Samantha Witte
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
5 September 2014

QUESTION #17:
Is the exploded jar of cherries significant in any way?

ANSWER:
The exploded jar of cherries serves as one of the many symbols for the change within Minnie Foster’s life and her personality as she grew older. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters both remembered Minnie as the young woman “to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir” (Glaspell 5). Minnie was like this before she married John Wright. John and Minnie Wright showed no indication that anything was wrong, and everything seemed normal from an outside point of view. The one thing that both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters did notice about Minnie was that she kept to herself a lot and hung around her empty house during the day. She did not have any children, and her house was “down in a hollow…it’s a lonesome place and always was” (Glaspell 7). The evidence of the dead bird that had a broken neck proved to the women that John had killed it, which was symbolic for John killing Minnie’s outgoing and bright personality. This discovery proved to them that Minnie was the one that had snapped and killed John because in that empty house “it would be awful-still, after the bird was still” (Glaspell 9). The cherries represent Minnie’s violent behavior. The cherries exploded because the fire went out, and they became too cold. The fire represents Minnie’s old, happy personality that went out when she became cold or lonely. Finally, she could not take the coldness in her life anymore, so she exploded much like the cherries.

Posted by: Samantha Witte at September 4, 2014 03:57 PM

Stephanie Vera
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs, M.L.A., Ph. D.
ENG. 122 Academic Writing II CA07
September 4, 2014
Trifles
By: Susan Glaspell (1916)

Question 16:
Why do the women sympathize with Mrs. Wright? Does their sympathy grow in stages in response to various events? Why do they defend her to the men?

Answer:
Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale sympathize with Mrs. Wright because it is in their nature to defend their gender. They women begin to grow offense as time progresses, and the men are jokingly making fun of women. The men are going through the house and observing and the women began to speak more of Mrs. Wright and begin to question the oddness of Mr. Wright’s death. Their sympathy grows into guilt upon themselves. They feel as they should have visited her more often. In one part Mrs. Hale states, “I know how things can be- for women. We all go through the same things.” (Pg. 9)

Posted by: Stephanie at September 4, 2014 08:25 PM

John Crane
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
4 September 2014

Trifles Question 7: What does Mrs. Wright’s behavior suggest about her state of mind?

Answer: Mrs. Wright was rocking back and forth in a rocking chair, pleating her apron (Glaspell 2). She looked “done up” and as if she did not know what to do next (Glaspell 2), and she laughed when she was asked about her husband, who was killed (Glaspell 2). After moving from one chair to another, she sat with her hands in her lap looking down with a scared expression (Glaspell 3). These behaviors all can be associated with a guilty, nervous, or uneasy state of mind.

Posted by: John Crane at September 4, 2014 08:37 PM

I sent you the wrong one for this. Sorry for that. Here is the right one.

Zachary Gary
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
4 September 2014

Question #9:
How has Mrs. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale?
Why?

Answer:
Mrs. Wright changed because of her husband Mr. Wright. Her name was Minnie Foster and she used to be in a singing group.(Page 7) Since she was married to Mr. Wright, she never went. She also had a bird she would sing to all the time and that bird is now dead. (Pages 6-7) She used to be a happy woman and since marrying Mr. Wright she hasn’t been. (whole story) I think Mr. Wright might have been controlling. They didn’t have any kids so it was a quiet house and less work. (Page 7) It wasn’t really a happy house.

Posted by: Zachary Gary at September 4, 2014 10:15 PM

Danielle Kluender
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
4 September 2014

Question #13:
Why don’t the women tell the men what they have found?

Answer:
When the two women discover the canary with the neck wrung in the same fashion as the husband’s, this leads them to the conclusion that Minnie is most certainly guilty for the murder of her husband, due to their similar cause of death. However, the women choose not to show the men the evidence that would prove Minnie’s guilt. The women realize that Minnie’s crime was an effort to escape from the monotony of her dull existence as a woman living a “wife’s role.” Mrs. Peters probably empathizes with Minnie’s caged lifestyle due to her own husband, the sheriff, sharing the same views about the limited role and dull existence that a wife should lead. This was made evident when he makes his comments to the county attorney “There is nothing in here but kitchen things” (Glaspell 3); while in the kitchen, but instead chooses to investigate the barn and the bedroom. Clearly the sheriff does not hold any significance to the daily lifestyles of the woman as he chooses to ignore the both the kitchen and Minnie’s sewing things. Mrs. Hale, on the other hand, most likely keeps Minnie’s secret out of guilt. She knew Minnie back before she was married and knew her to be a much happier and livelier human being. (Glaspell 5). Because she lives next door, she no doubt had an idea of Minnie’s deteriorating state after her marriage but chose not to intervene. After discovering the incriminating evidence with Mrs. Peters, she realizes hindsight that she probably should have spoken up or intervened at some point along the way. Therefore, she keeps Minnie’s secret because she feels equally guilty in the crime.

Posted by: Danielle Kluender at September 5, 2014 01:34 AM

Mickael Dodard
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 : Academic Writing II CA07
5 September 2014

Question #8:

How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer:
Men investigate differently than women because men are only looking for evidences while women are making their minds work while searching beyond evidences. The women found a birdcage with a dead bird in it. The bird was killed the same way as the man so the women concluded that the owner of the bird was the murderer

The men do not find the evidence the women do because they stayed upstairs looking for basic evidences while the women went to the garage and explore the house until the found the dead bird.

Posted by: Mickael Dodard at September 5, 2014 09:46 AM

Alyssa Davis
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
5 September 2014

Question #5:
How would you generalize the attitude of the men towards the women?

Answer:
The men had a very sexist attitude. On page 3, while the county attorney was talking to Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, he noticed that there were dirty towels laying around in the home. When he noticed the dirty towels he commented, “not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies,” implying that it is a woman’s job to make sure her home is kept up to good standards. Also on page 3, the county attorney states, “I know there are some Dickson county farmhouses which do not have such roller towels.” When saying this, he implied that there should have been more clean towels around which a woman should have provided. In response, Mrs. Hale stated that a man’s hands get dirty quickly therefore it leads to the usage of all the towels when the men are cleaning their hands.

On page 3, when all the characters were in the home, Mrs. Peters stated that the woman’s fruits were frozen, and she was well worried about her preserves. Hale commented and said that women are only worried about trifles. Hale was making it clear that women often do not think about the bigger picture in situations. Women tend to focus on smaller things that may not even be relevant.

Posted by: Alyssa Davis at September 5, 2014 11:09 AM

Roslyn Thomas
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
5 September 2014

Question #15
What happens in the story that makes Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters become close?

Answer:
What makes Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters become close was when both of them were going through the house at found the evidence they needed. They were talking When Mrs. Hale says
“I might have known she needed help! I know how things can be for women. I tell you, it’s queer, Mrs. Peters. 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. If I were you, I wouldn’t tell her fruit was gone. Tell her it is not. Tell her it’s all right. Take this in to prove it to her. She may never know whether it was broke or not."
And MRS. PETERS says "My, it’s a good thing the men couldn’t hear us. Wouldn’t they just laugh! Getting all stirred up over a little thing like a dead canary. As if that could have anything to do with wouldn’t they laugh!" (pg 9)

Posted by: Roslyn Thomas at September 5, 2014 11:26 AM

Justine Gonzalez
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
4 September 2014

Question #10:
When Mrs.Peters says she doesn't know who did it, is she in denial?

Answer:
To me she in denial, she did not call no one when she seen he was dead and said she did not wake up. She stood in shock to me to the whole situation. I think it was shock for loosing her husband and right next to him when he was killed was hard for her to handle. she wanted to act like it didn't happen so she knew nothing.

Posted by: Justine Gonzalez at September 5, 2014 01:03 PM

Gianna Anderson
Dr. B. Lee Hoobs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
September 5, 2014

Question #1:
The men say that women worry over “trifles.” What is a “trifle”?
Answer:
When the men were saying that the women worry over trifles they were alluding to the women worry over little insignificant situations.

Posted by: Gianna Anderson at September 5, 2014 01:27 PM

Trejon Baynham
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG. 122 CA 01
4 September 2014

QUESTION #3:
How do men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find the same evidence that the women do?

ANSWER:
The men in the story regulate their search based on procedures and traditional methods of investigation in contrast to the women’s more introspective approach. Often throughout the investigation, the county attorney relied on throughout examination of the building and its surroundings to uncover clues that would lead to information regarding the murder such motivation. (Glaspell 3) The county attorney also often asked rhetorical questions and kept a notebook in which he utilized very systematically. (Glaspell 3) Near the end of the text, the county attorney also mentioned his detest towards the lack of evidence that the women have discovered. (Glaspell 10)

Posted by: Trejon Baynham at September 5, 2014 01:34 PM

Rashard Knowles
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA07
5 September 2014

Question 14:
At the end of the story, do the women think she is guilty of a crime?

Answer:
At the end of the story, the women after they and the men put together numerous clues came to the conclusion that the Minnie Foster was indeed guilty. throughout the story, for example page 9 line 21 Mrs.Hale says "I might have known she needed help!". This clearly indicates that the women agree that Minnie is guilty.

Posted by: Rashard Knowles at September 5, 2014 01:51 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. B. Lee Hobbs at September 15, 2014 04:27 PM

Rachel Addington
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
23 January 2015

Question: How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find the evidence the women do?

Answer: The men and women investigate differently because the men are too focused on the actual crime scene. They went upstairs to investigate how someone could have put the rope over Mrs. Wright’s husband and then outside to check for clues. Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Hale stay inside talking about Mrs. Wright and accidently found clues around the house that the men would have never been able to notice as a sign. The men don’t find the evidence that the women do because they spent all of their time either upstairs or outside and criticizing Mrs. Wright’s house duties. The women, however, noticed Mrs. Wright had been piecing a quilt and how the sewing had once been perfect and then ruined. While trying to find a piece of paper and string, Mrs. Peters finds a birdcage, which led them to wonder where was the bird? While looking for patches they find the bird in a box. The bird looked like it had been strangled like Mrs. Wright’s husband was. The ladies don’t share what they found with the men and Mrs. Hale puts the box in her pocket.

Posted by: Rachel Addington at January 23, 2015 10:09 PM

Kathleen Sholl
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing 122 CA12
24 January 2015

Trifles Discussion Questions

Question: How do you think a real–life, modern-day version of the crime would play out?

Answer: A modern-day version of this crime would play out much differently than it did in this short play. In real-life, the Sheriff and county attorney would be focusing on the crime scene. Instead, the characters cared about things such as “nothing here but kitchen things” (Glaspell 3), or “here’s a nice mess” (Glaspell 3). Secondly, touching of evidence or anything at the crime scene is prohibited in the present day. In Trifles, the characters are clearly touching things in the farmhouse because Mrs. Peters nervously says, “I don’t think we ought to touch things” (Glaspell 6). Next, this short story has characters in it such as the sheriff’s wife. Nowadays, nobody other than law enforcement would be permitted to enter the scene. In addition, the county attorney says, “but you know juries when it comes to women.” In the present time, the court system picks a jury pool that is unbiased. As for the crime itself, the sheriff allowed items in the farmhouse to be collected, as long as the collector agreed that the objects were irrelevant to the case. In today’s investigations, items at a crime scene would not be allowed to be taken out of the vicinity.

Posted by: Kathleen Sholl at January 25, 2015 03:04 PM

Mallory Delay
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
25 January 2015

Question 3: How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer: The men investigate differently by looking for evidence from an outside source. They do not think it could have possibly been Mrs. Wright. The county attorney finds no evidence upstairs of any intruders, but the men "go up again and go over it piece by piece." (Glaspell 8) The men do not find evidence that the women do because as Mr. Hale say, "women are used to worrying over trifles." (Glaspell 3) The mess in the kitchen and the last actions of Mrs. Wright hide the evidence that is overlooked by the men. They do not realize that the truth of the women's trifles is the key to solving the case. The county attorney believes that the mess is Mrs. Wright being "not much of a housekeeper." (Glaspell 3)

Posted by: Mallory Delay at January 25, 2015 08:41 PM

Emily Buckley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 2 CA12
25 January 2015

Question:
How does the setting of the story affect the plot? Consider the
location of the house, the time of year, and the temperature of the
house.

Answer:
The season in which the play takes place is late fall or during the wintertime, because the sheriff makes the comment of the temperature dropping below zero. "It's just the same. When it fell below zero last night, I thought I'd better send Frank out this morning to make a fire for us…" (Glaspell, 1) In literature, the cold seasons typically represent death, because all the trees and the ground is hard, cold and look dead. The winter is a perfect setting to back up the plot, the months of death to represent a murder. The farmhouse is isolated; the road cannot be seen from the house, it is a cold and lonely place, the ideal setting for a death to occur.

Posted by: Emily Buckley at January 25, 2015 10:27 PM

Selena Hammie
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing 122
January 25, 2015

Trifles

Question #16: Why do the women sympathize with Mrs. Wright? Does their sympathy grown in stages in response to various events? Why do they defend her to the men?

The women sympathize with Mrs. Wright because of the death of her husband, John Wright, he was murdered, “he died of a rope around his neck.”(Trifles page 2). While the investigation was going on she seemed very calm and in shock. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters discuss the type of women she was and tried to make sense of the whole situation. I do think their sympathy grew in stages based on their response to the various situations because as they observe her acts throughout the investigation she just seems so shocked because she’’ just went on pleatin’ at her apron.” (Trifles page 2) They defend her because they believed she did not kill her husband.

Posted by: Selena Hammie at January 25, 2015 11:24 PM

Vallinique Martin
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
25 January 2015

Question: 1: Why don’t the women tell the men what they have found?
Answer: Throughout the story, the men teased the women about the small things they concern themselves with. For example, the broken fruit jars, the messy kitchen, Minnie's choice of quilting knotting the quilt she was working on. In addition, Mrs. Hales and Mrs. Peters empathized with Minnie. In the story it says she liked the bird," said Martha Hale, low and slowly. "She was going to bury it in that pretty box.” The two women, feeling compassion and comraderies, make the silent decision to hide the evidence(pg.16).

Posted by: Vallinique Martin at January 25, 2015 11:31 PM

Amber Dunlap
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Academic Writing II
ENG 122 CA12
25 January 2015

Question:
14. At the end of the story, do women think she is guilty of a crime?

Answer:
This whole story is revolved by the death of John Wright. During the story Mrs. Wright was seen as the victim of this death, without any given facts. Towards the end of the story it ends stating “knot it”. Knot it is referring to her not being the reason for the death. The story looks at women as stupid people, who they feel would never catch the evidence. This statement is not true. In my opinion the women did not think she was guilty of the murder crime.

Posted by: Amber Dunlap at January 26, 2015 12:05 AM

Diego Garcia
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
24 January 2015

Discussion Question For Trifles

Quote: “I got a feeling that I ought to make some conversation, so I said I had come in to see if John wanted to put in a telephone,…”(Glaspell page 3)

Question 2: John Wright doesn't want to get a telephone. What does this tell us
about his character?

Answer: The fact that he did not have a telephone tells us that he did not have anybody to talk with, so he was anti-social and kept to himself. While Mrs. Peters was talking to Mrs. Hale, she asked her if she had known Mr. Wright. She apparently knew a little of him but not much. However, apparently Mrs. Peters knew him and said that “Just to pass the time of day with him (Shivers) Like a raw wind that gets to the bone.” (Glaspell page 7)

Posted by: Diego Garcia at January 26, 2015 12:19 AM

Jorge Braham

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12

24 January 2015

Discussion Question

Question

1- Describe Mathilde’s reaction after reading the invitation?

Answer.

She was very sad because she didn’t have a dress and she

didn’t want others to think she could not afford one or that she

was poor. Also she went through a lot of mood changes she

was happy when the husband agreed to pay for a dress , but

then got sad again when she didn’t have any jewelry to go

along with the dress.

Posted by: Jorge Braham at January 26, 2015 12:23 AM

Emma Riemer
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 2
26 January 2015

A Jury of Her Peers

Question Twelve: What was Mrs. Wright’s motive?

Answer:
Mrs.Wright’s killed her husband because he killed her canary. Evidence that proves this is at the very end when the women try to hide the strangled bird from the men. The author writes “…got the box, tried to put it in her handbag. It was too big…Martha Hale snatched the box from the sheriff’s wife, and got it in the pocket of her big coat just as the sheriff and the county attorney came back into the kitchen” (Glaspell 19). The women did not want the sheriff and county attorney to find a motive that would convict Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Wright was upset that her bird had died, “‘She liked the bird,’ said Martha Hale” (Glaspell 16). Mr. Wright didn’t like the bird, the author writes “‘no Wright wouldn’t like the bird,’ she said after that—‘a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too’” (Glaspell 16). Therefore, Mrs. Wright strangled her husband because he had strangled her bird and the life that used to be in her.

Posted by: Emma Riemer at January 26, 2015 03:45 AM

Rously Paul
Dr.Hobbs
ENG-122
26 January 2015

Question: Do you believe the exploded jar of cherries is significant in any way?

Answer: The jar of cherries in the story "trifle" is a reference to how the poor standing of living Mrs.Peters' is in and points towards how unusual her behavior becomes later.

Posted by: Rously Paul at January 26, 2015 09:12 AM

Charis Lavoie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
26 January 2015

Question 9: How has Mrs. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale? Why?
Answer: Mrs. Hale says that Mrs. Hale was never the same after she wed, “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir (Glaspell 5).” Mrs. Hale supposes that Mrs. Wright felt as though she could not do her part (Glaspell 5).

Posted by: Charis Lavoie at January 26, 2015 09:12 AM

Victoria Markou
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 12
26 January 2015

Question 11: The county attorney says that "a sheriff's wife is married to the law." Is this true? Does this seem to match with Mrs. Peter's characterization?

Answer: “Not-just that way” Mrs. Peters replies when the court attorney asked her if “a sheriff’s wife is married to the law” (Glaspell 10). This phrase does not seem true in correspondence to Mrs. Peters’ characterization. When Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale were in the Wright’s house, they stumbled upon a strangled canary in a sewing box. It could serve as crucial evidence to tie Millie to the crime of strangling her husband. The women discuss their own stories relating to “knowing what stillness is” and sympathize emotionally for Millie (Glaspell 9). “Wouldn’t they just laugh! Getting all stirred up over a little thing like a—dead canary. As if that could have anything to do with— with—wouldn’t they laugh!” (Glaspell 9). Mrs. Peters shows her true character, she lightheartedly laughs as she pretends she has found nothing important. “Suddenly Mrs. Peters throws back quilt pieces and tries to put the box in the bag she is wearing” (Glaspell 10). This is the turning point; Mrs. Peterson decides to supress evidence, breaking the law, in hopes that Millie will not be convicted.

Posted by: Victoria Markou at January 26, 2015 09:40 AM

Jan Urbaniak
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA12
January 26 2015
Question: 6.) The women follow the men into the kitchen. Is this significant?
Answer: I think that it is significant. It shows that the woman in this story do not trust man, especially when it is about letting them get into the kitchen. They (woman) treat kitchen as their territory, and they are not going to tolerate they presence there.

Posted by: Jan Urbaniak at January 26, 2015 09:57 AM

Kaitlin Murphy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
25 January 2015

Question: What happens in the story that makes Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters become close?

Answer: While reading "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell I noticed that throughout the story Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters start to become close while they talk about the recent events that happened in the Wright's house. "Mrs. Hale: I'd hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing. Mrs. Peters: Of course it's no more than their duty" (Glaspell 4) It was with these words being said to one another that I noticed Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters become close. Through the case going on with the Wright family they really became close when they found clues about the case. and planned to keep it quiet from the sheriff.

Posted by: Kaitlin Murphy at January 26, 2015 10:24 AM

Alison Colon
Dr.Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA12
25 January 2015

1. The men say that women worry over “trifles”. What is a “trifle”?

In the context , Trifles is used as a way of saying that something is of lesser value or importance. The characters use the word trifle as a way of describing little things or things that aren’t easily noticeable. The court attorney states that before they’re through “ she may have something more serious than her preserves to worry about” (Glaspell 3) and Hale tells them that “ Women are used to worrying over trifles”(Glaspell 3) . Hale was implying that women are used to worrying about little issues and things that aren’t as serious as this case , like they’re “preserves” for instance. Throughout the story the women were focusing on the little things or the “trifles” which in turn would actually be the things that solve the case.

Posted by: Alison Colon at January 26, 2015 10:48 AM

Aderias Ewing
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
26 January 2015
Trifles Discussion Questions
Question: When Mrs. Peters says she does not know who did it, is she in denial?

Yes. I think Mrs. Peters is in denial with the fact that Mrs. Wright might be her husband’s killer. The dead bird she and Mrs. Hale found in the red box with its neck broken on pg. 8, was almost as the suspect’s husband strangle. Both women knew Mrs. Wright was lonely, and unhappy with how her life turned out; so that might be some of the reasons why she might have killed her husband.

Posted by: aderias at January 26, 2015 07:07 PM

Cannelle Samson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
2 September 2015

Question: Why don’t the women tell the men what they’ve found?

Answer: As the men are investigated, the women are sitting down looking around and making conversation. As they are sited, they notice multiple things. One, they notice that Minni has sewed the end of a block shows unusual bad sewing. As the ladies realized this, they ask themselves why Minni would have sewed bad. Mrs. Peters answering the question says, “Oh—I don’t know. I don’t know as she was nervous. I sometimes sew awful queer when I’m just tired” (Glaspell, 6). The women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, also notice a bird cage with a broken door. After finding the bird cage, they find a dead bird in a box with a broken neck. Finding the bird, Mrs. Hale says to Mrs. Peters, “But, Mrs. Peters—look at it. Its neck! Look at its neck! It’s all—other side too” (Glaspell, 8). I believe that Mrs. Peters’ and Mrs. Hale do not tell the men what they found because they feel guilty of not visiting Minni Wright in her time of need, and in a way they understand Minni. Mrs. Peters says, “When I was a girl—my kitten—there was a boy took a hatchet, and before my eyes—and before I could get there—(Covers her face an instant.) If they hadn’t held me back, I would have— (Catches herself, looks upstairs, where steps are heard, falters weakly.)—hurt him” (Glaspell, 8-9). Mrs. Peters is trying to relate to Minni Wright’s situation. In a way, Mrs. Peters excuses Minni for what could have happened between Minni and her husband. Mrs. Hale feels guilty that she did not visit Minni. Mrs. Hale says, “I might have known she needed help! I know how things can be—for women. I tell you, it’s queer, Mrs. Peters. 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…” (Glaspell, 9). Both women are trying to relate to Minni. I found that they were sticking up for each other as women.

Posted by: Cannelle Samson at September 2, 2015 02:24 PM

Madison Helms
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
2 September 2015


Question: John Wright doesn't want to get a telephone. What does this tell us about his character?

Answer: John Wright did not want a telephone because he was the type of person who liked his peace and quiet. He said to Mr. Hale, “folks talked too much anyway” (Glaspell 1). Mr. Hale tried to talk to john about getting a party phone before, but John Wright put it off because he thought people talked too much and he didn’t really talk all that much himself.

Posted by: Madison Helms at September 2, 2015 04:27 PM

Brad McAvoy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA09
2 Sept. 2015
Minnie Wright from the book "A Jury of Her Peers" which was written by Susan Glaspell, was originally a lively and happy go lucky type of girl. She felt as though not much has weighed her down until she got married. "No- it's not cheerful, I wouldn't say she has the homemaking instinct... I don't know as Wright either." (Glaspell 11). She used to sing in the choir at her neighborhood church before she got marrried. This expressed her personality at the time."when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls, singing in the choir. But that--oh,
that was twenty years ago." (Glaspell 9)

Posted by: Brad McAvoy at September 2, 2015 10:02 PM

Sabrina McIntyre
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
03 September 2015


Question: How has Mr. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale? Why?

Answer: According to Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Wright used to be called Minnie Foster; who was a happy, lively girl that used to sing in the local choir. However, all of that changed once Mrs. Wright married John Wright. Mrs. Hale described Mrs. Wright as a dull, lonely woman who barely left the house. Also, Mrs. Hale compared Mrs. Wright to a bird. In the text Mrs. Hale stated, “She—come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself—real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery. How—she—did—change.” (Glaspell 7) Therefore, just in the quote alone sounds like Mrs. Wright had a few issues.

Posted by: Sabrina McIntyre at September 3, 2015 12:19 PM

Matthew Beebe
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 - Academic Writing II CAO3
September 3, 2015

Question: The men say that women worry over “trifles.” What is a “trifle”?

Answer: A trifle can defined as “something of little value or importance.” After the women had found out the man had died, they started worrying. Martha Hales husband said “oh well,” […] “women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 6). The men in the story make it look like not a big deal and call it a trifle because it’s something of little value or importance.

Posted by: Matthew Beebe at September 3, 2015 02:16 PM

Alexis Clayton
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122- Academic Writing 2 CA3
3 September 2015

Question #12: What was Mrs. Wright motive?


Answer: In Trifles, a short story, by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Wright’s motive to kill her husband was he was mentally hurting her. Martha talks about to the other characters how she once was happy, musical, sweet, shy, and pretty. Then her husband, John, was abusive to her and made her change throughout the whole story. She became isolated from her nearby neighbors and changed the way she kept the house. Martha even realized that he was no good for her when she says, “ But I don’t think a place would be any cheerfuller for John Wright’s bein’ in it ( pg 7).” He caused her to kill him to get her life back and not be abused by him. Mrs. Peters, the sheriff's wife, even says. "Well you can beat the women! Held for murder, and worrying about her preserves!(pg.6) !” They all did not blame her for her motive in killing him and felt bad for her in the end.

Posted by: alexis clayton at September 3, 2015 02:29 PM

Sidnee Yaeger
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
3 September 2015

Question: How do you think a real-life, modern-day version of the crime would play out?

Answer: When Hale went inside the Wrights house "there in that rocker sat Mrs. Wright" (Glaspell 2). Today, Mrs. Wright wouldn't have been sitting in her rocker, she would have called the police with a frantic and frightening voice the moment she killed her husband, John Wright. She would have made up a story about how when she was in the shower or when she came home from doing her errands he was dead. Mrs. Wright would hide all the evidence that has her fingerprints on it so she would not get caught. It would take years, possibly even decades for the case to be solved.

Posted by: Sidnee Yaeger at September 3, 2015 04:14 PM

Michael Mooney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
3 September 2015

Question: Why do the women sympathize with Mrs. Wright? Does their sympathy grown in stages in response to various events? Why do they defend her to the men?

Answer: Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale accompany the Sheriff’s Deputy, County Attorney, and Mr. Hale to the Wright Farmhouse. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are familiar with John Wright and his wife Minnie Wright (referred to in the play as both Minnie Foster and Wright, the former being her maiden name), as they know Mrs. Wright some thirty years ago before she was married “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that—oh, that was thirty years ago” (Glaspel 5). Throughout the play Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale constantly draw comparisons between the lively, energetic woman Mrs. Wright used to be, and the woman she turned into during her marriage to John Wright, “I wish you’d seen Minnie Foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and sang” (Glaspel 9), “She—come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself—real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery. How—she—did—change.” (Glaspel 7). It was revealed during the onset of the play that Mrs. Wright’s life had become empty and still. Due mostly to Mr. Wright’s personality, as put by Mrs. Hale “But I don’t think a place ’d be any cheerfuller for John Wright’s being in it.” (Glaspel 4). As the woman move about the Wright house, they begin to uncover subtle hints to Mrs. Wright’s suffering, and her eventual snap that lead to Mr. Wright’s murder. Despite knowing her guilt, they still sympathized with her. They felt sympathetic to decades of emptiness she had endured, something they tried to make the men understand to no avail. The discovery that Mr. Wright had killed her canary, the only light in an otherwise dark and meaningless life, they knew why Mrs. Wright killed her husband. They understood why, as well, “If there’d been years and years of nothing, then a bird to sing to you, it would be awful—still, after the bird was still.” (Glaspel 9). In the end, they kept their discoveries to themselves, opting to protect Mrs. Wright from the law as restitution for what she had endured.

Posted by: Michael Mooney at September 3, 2015 05:22 PM

Lady Hernandez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 academic writing II CA03
3 September 2015

Question: What does Mrs. Wright’s behavior suggest about her state of mind?

Answer: “Then the door at the back opened, and people all bundled up came in—two or three men, I wasn’t sure which, but sure enough about the two women, who hung back, reluctant to enter that kitchen.” Minnie Wright has been charged with the murder her husband. Her guilt in committing the crime is never questioned. Two women, who happen to wives of the sheriff and a neighbor, pick up her behavior. While the men look for evidence, the two women come across trifles such as a disordered household, an irregular quilting pattern, and a strangled canary. They realized that such details are indicators of Minnie’s motivations for the murder. The women also know about Mrs. Wright’s abusive husband and they think that she was not wrong with her actions. In the courtroom the women become jurors who decide that Minnie is not guilty. They base their judgment on simple humanity and compassion. The women decide to be loyal to Minnie and not reveal her disturbed state of mind.

Posted by: lady hernandez at September 3, 2015 05:51 PM

Brittany Cordero
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
03 September 2015
Question: Why don't the women tell the men what they've found out?
Answer: The women did not tell the men what they found out because they did not want to betray Mrs. Wright. They also were not exactly sure that she had committed any crime. As the County Attorney put it, the women were "loyal to your sex" (Glaspell 3), meaning they would not announce what they had found out, which could have incriminated Mrs. Wright.

Posted by: Brittany Cordero at September 3, 2015 07:08 PM

Emma Duncan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
3 September 2015

Question: At the end of the story, do the women think she is guilty of a crime?
Answer: In the story, "A Jury of Her Peers" John Wright was murdered in his sleep with a rope around his neck. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters don't start out thinking that Mrs. Wright killed her husband, but after chatting about Mr. Wright and finding a dead bird they start to change their minds. While talking innocently in the kitchen, the women described John Wright, "But he was a hard man, Mrs. Peters. Just to pass the time of day with him. (Shivers.) Like a raw wind that gets to the bone" (Glaspell 7). The quote shows how the women don't get a good vibe from him, and he makes them uncomfortable. The women also chatted about how great of a singer Mrs. Wright was especially when she sang in the choir. The women said how cheerful Mrs. Wright used to be and then how much she'd changed also. They said Mr. Wright killed Mrs. Wright's singing. After this, the two women found Mrs. Wrights bird dead because its neck was wrung. The women start to understand the situation much better now and are shocked! They begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together by realizing that since John Wright killed his wife's singing, her bird and they didn't have any kids his wife most likely killed him in his sleep. Just the same way the bird died. This also makes sense why Mrs. Wright wasn't emotionally distraught when Hale was trying to see John. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters think that Mrs. Wright is guilty of killing her husband. This is true because they hide the bird before the officers came back into the kitchen.

Posted by: Emma Duncan at September 3, 2015 07:51 PM

Jaclyn Taylor
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 11 CA03
3 September 2015

Question: 8.) How do men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer: In the short story the men that are investing the death of Mr. Wright as they go and look where he died, which was in the bedroom of his house. He was hung and according to his wife it was done in the middle of the night while she slept. As the men looked through the bedroom and then off to look outside at the barn. The women however stayed in the kitchen and looked throughout the kitchen looking at what Mrs. Wright had done in there looking at how clean she kept it and when he had preserved for the season. They then moved into the living room to look at her quilting that she and done and as the two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, looked over her stitching in her quilt they noticed at the end her stitching got very uneven and Mrs. Hale said that it looked like she was nervous when she was stitching. Soon after they noticed that she had a bird cage, but there was no bird to fill its empty space. Mrs. Peter soon noticed that there was a fancy looking box in the cupboard that they had gotten her quilt from, when she took it out and opened it up there was the canary bird that once filled the cage dead wrapped in silk in the box. They suspected that it was Mr. Wright that had wrung its neck because the birds head had been twisted around its body. The two women came to the conclusion that because Mr. Wright killed the cheerful bird that filled up his wife’s life, that she had killed her husband because he took the last cheerful thing away from he. The reason why the women had found the evidence was because they had looked through Mrs. Wrights belongings and saw what she saw, while the men only looked at where the husband had been most days.

Posted by: Jaclyn Taylor at September 3, 2015 08:22 PM

Maria Gonzalez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
03 September 2015

Question: The unfinished dishes are a part of the setting. How do the men interpret this? How do the women interpret this?

Answer: In _Trifles_ by Susan Glaspell, the first scene depicts a kitchen that is unkempt and has dirty utensils all around. One of the items that are described are the dirty dishes. The men see the unmade dishes as an example of how Mrs. Wright was "not much of a housekeeper" (Glaspell 3). However, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale defend Mrs. Wright by stating that, "There's a great deal of work to be done on a farm" (Glaspell 3). Thus inferring that Mrs. Wright did not have sufficient time to have a clean house.

Posted by: Maria Gonzalez at September 3, 2015 09:00 PM

Zach Pottle
Professor Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
3 September 2015

Question:
How would you generalize the attitude of the men toward the women?

Answer:
The men in this short story act very superior to the women. As Mrs. Hale’s husband said when examining the crime scene, "women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 6). Throughout the story, the men use remarks such as “I see you’re loyal to your sex” or telling them they wouldn’t know a clue if they came across one. The men look down upon the women, referring to them as women, never by name. It almost seems in a sense that they are insecure about their abilities to solve the crime, and need to put the women down in order to feel better.

Posted by: Zachary Pottle at September 3, 2015 09:35 PM

Sabrina McIntyre
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
03 September 2015


Question: Does Roberts think that flat characters are worthless in fiction? Why or why not?

Answer: Robert doesn’t think that flat characters are worthless in fiction because he himself even encouraged the reader to develop characteristics like them. Also, if it weren’t for flat characters, there wouldn’t be anyone helping the highlight the development of round characters. For example, “Flat characters are not worthless in fiction, however, for they highlight the development of the round characters[..] Brown” (Roberts 69).

Posted by: Sabrina McIntyre at September 3, 2015 09:52 PM

Johnny Nguyen
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA03

Question: The women follow the men into the kitchen. Is this significant?

Answer: Yes because Marta had a feeling she couldn’t cross that threshold because she had never crossed it before. For twenties years, she had been Mrs. Wright but when she went in she felt like Minnie Foster again. Also, they were questioning if the kitchen had been touched or left the same.

Posted by: Johnny Nguyen at September 3, 2015 09:55 PM

Lois Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
3 September 2015


Question: Is there any significance of how the men crisscross the house several times, moving from different rooms to the barn? How does it make their investigation seem?


Answer: The investigation that the Sheriff along with the attorney are carrying is pointless because they know that the wife will be charged with murder since there is no other suspect. The author made a few references to the social norms of the epoch; by then, women did not have their right to vote yet, and therefore, were treated rather as a property of the husband. In fact, in one the county attorney’s speeches he mentions that when it comes to women, the jury usually connect loose ends and make a story to solve the case (Glaspell 10). Moreover, we can also see the men, all together, going from room to room without finding any hints or evidence that might have led to the murder, making fun of the ladies as they enter and leave. The frivolousness of the authority on this case made the investigation seem unimportant and a waste of time.

Posted by: Lois Martinez at September 3, 2015 10:00 PM

Anayah McKenzie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
September 3, 2015

Question: Is there any significance to the phrase about the quilt, "knot it"?

In the play _Trifles_, quilt it or know it came up a few times, throughout the play. Through research, I have learnt that quilting the rope takes a tedious amount of time; however, knotting it does not take that much time and is by far easier. _Knot it_ could be seen as a way to say make the death of John Wright quick and not a struggle. Mrs. Hale said, “Well, I guess John Wright didn’t wake when they was slipping that rope under his neck” (Trifles 5). The line that Mrs. Hale said, proves that killing Mr. Wright was not a struggle and was a simple task.
However, coming to the closing of the story, it shows how Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale was trying to cover up the motive for Mrs. Wright killing John Wright (Trifles 9-10). Mrs. Hale also said, “We call it—knot it, Mr. Henderson” (Trifles 10). This could be her way of trying to covering for Mrs. Wright by using a play on words.

Question: What does verisimilitude mean and what role, according to Roberts, should it play with fictional characters?

According to Oxford Dictionaries, verisimilitude means the appearance of being real or true. According to Roberts, it should play a major role with fictional characters. It plays the role of allowing the audience insight into the story. It allows the audience to connect to what the story line is trying to convey and sometimes draw their own conclusion.

Posted by: Anayah McKenzie at September 3, 2015 11:17 PM

Hana Lee
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
3 September2015

“HALE. Why, I don’t think she minded—one way or other. She didn’t pay much attention. I
said, “How do, Mrs. Wright, it’s cold, ain’t it?” And she said, “Is it?”—and went on kind of pleating at her apron. Well, I was surprised; she didn’t ask me to come up to the stove, or to set down, but just sat there, not even looking at me, so I said, “I want to see John.” And then she laughed. I guess you would call it a laugh. I thought of Harry and the team outside, so I said a little sharp: “Can’t I see John?” “No,” she says, kind o’ dull like. “Ain’t he home?” says I. “Yes,” says she, “he’s home.” “Then why can’t I see him?” I asked her, out of patience. “‘Cause he’s dead,” says she. “Dead?” says I. She just nodded her head, not getting a bit excited, but rockin’ back and forth. “Why—where is he?” says I, not knowing what to say.”

Question: Does the name “Wright” have any significance?

Answer: The name “Wright” does have some significance. The names themselves are very important in the play because they represent symbols that which Glaspell has revealed as important points. The name itself, “Wright” refers to the social stereotype women who seek right. In other words, the lack of rights and implying Mrs. Wright’s right to free herself against her husband’s societally sanctioned right to control the family.

Posted by: Hana Lee at September 3, 2015 11:18 PM

This is the right one! I forgot to put in-text citation.

Luis Bautista
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 – Academic Writing 2
3 September 2015
“No; Mrs. Peters doesn’t need supervising. For that matter, a sheriff’s wife is married to the law. Ever think of it that way, Mrs. Peters?”
Mrs. Peters was standing beside the table. Mrs. Hale shot a look up at her, but she could not see her face. Mrs. Peters had turned away. When she spoke, her voice was muffled.
“Not-just that way”, she said( Glaspell 18).
Question; The county attorney says that “a sheriff's wife is married to the law."
Is this true? Does this seem to match with Mrs. Peter’s characterization?
Answer. Her hesitation to answer when the county attorney asked Mrs. Peters if she thinks a sheriff’s wife is married to the law made me believe that she knew something about the murder even; so in other words, she could have had valuable evidence for the case. In another occasion, Mrs. Hale commented the awful was Mrs. Wright killed her husband, and Mrs. Peters said, “We don’t know who killed him”(Glaspell 16). I wouldn’t define Mrs. Peters as a woman that think that a sheriff’s wife is married to the law because her insecurity.

Posted by: Luis Bautista at September 3, 2015 11:37 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
3 September 2015

Question #18

Question: Does the quilt has any significance? (think especially about how it is a
patchwork quilt. If you are familiar with log cabin quilts, think about
the significance of the pattern)

Answer: In “Trifles”, the quilt had a very significant role to play within the story. There were many references to the fact that the home was cold throughout the work such as, “This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies.” (Glaspell 1). The reason she was making the quilt was for warmth which eludes to the heartless and cold relationship she was in at the time. The quilt also is key to a vital piece of her past. In this quote, “Mrs. Hale (examining the skirt). Wright was close. I think maybe that’s why she kept so much to herself. She didn’t even belong to the Ladies’ Aid. I suppose she felt she couldn’t do her part, and then you don’t enjoy things when you feel shabby. She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that—oh, that was thirty years ago. This all you was to take?” (Glaspell 5), it shows three things of particular interest. One was that Minnie was already self-conscious about her marriage. The second would be relating back to the patchwork quilt, in that the reason she was making a patchwork quilt was because she couldn’t afford any more than the scraps she had gathered together. The last thing would be the reason why she was knotting the quilt. Because she was both ashamed and poor, she didn’t associate with other women and could only complete the quilt by herself.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at September 4, 2015 12:22 AM

Shyiem-Akiem Brown
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
4 September 2015

Question: At the end of the story, do the women think she is guilty of a crime?

Answer: The women think that she is guilty of a crime at the end of the story. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters frantically try to hide the dead bird out of fear because this can serve as evidence for Mrs. Wright committing the murder of her husband. The women first come to the realization that Mrs. Wright may have killed her husband when they both unraveled the dead canary wrapped in silk, with its neck wrung (Glaspell 8). Their assumption solidified when they desperately try to hide the dead bird from the Sheriff and County Attorney (Glaspell 10). The following stage action proves that both women believe that Mrs. Wright committed the crime: “The Sheriff follows the County Attorney into the other room. Then Mrs. Hale rises, hands tight together, looking intensely at Mrs. Peters, whose eyes take a slow turn, finally meeting Mrs. Hale’s. For a moment Mrs. Hale holds her eyes, then her own eyes point the way to where the box is concealed. Suddenly Mrs. Peters throws back quilt pieces and tries to put the box in the bag she is wearing. It is too big. She opens the box, starts to take the bird out, cannot touch it, goes to pieces, stands there helpless. Sound of a knob turning in the other room. Mrs. Hale snatches the box and puts it in the pocket of her big coat” (Glaspell 10).

Posted by: Shyiem-Akiem Brown at September 4, 2015 12:52 AM

Zekeriya Kayaselcuk

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09

3 September 2015

Question: Is the exploded jar of cherries significant in any way?


Answer: The exploding jar of cherries is significant in a few ways. First off, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters were solving the crime, while the sheriff and attorney were roaming around looking for clues. The women were finding each and every clue that would finally lead to the murderer, Mrs. Wright. Just as the attorney came across the jar of cherries, he did not assume any suspicion. Mrs. Peters' comment was an important one, "She said the fire'd go out and her jars would break" (Glaspell pg. 3). Mrs. Wright had meant that there was one important secret that nobody knew she hated her husband. At one point in the story, Mrs. Hale mentioned how hard of a man Mr. Wright had been, "But he was a hard man, Mrs. Peters. Just to pass the time of day with him. (Shivers.) Like a raw wind that gets to the bone." (Glaspell pg. 7). The broken jars were Mrs. Wrights secrets flowing out. There was only one good jar of cherries, and this was the secret hate growing on her husband. At least, none of the men has ever realized how much she hated her husband, and they never will.

Posted by: Zekeriya Kayaselcuk at September 4, 2015 08:38 AM

Yaribilisa Colon
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122
9/4/2015


QUESTION: The men say that women worry over “trifles.” What is a “trifle”?

ANSWER: When the men stated that women worry over trifles, they mean that they worry over something of very little importance. In this short story trifles is counted as more of a social criticism rather than tragedy. That’s why men don’t find the same things as women when investigating. Women pay attention to trifles while men don’t.

Posted by: Yaribilisa Colon at September 4, 2015 09:22 AM

Connor Laramie
Dr. Hobbs
9/4/15
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA03
3) Question: How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer: The men investigate differently from the women by asking more in depth thoughts that they don’t have strong enough evidence towards convicting Martha Hale about while the women investigate the evidence more of how a sisterhood would go about it by gaining strong evidence about Minnie Wright. The men don’t find the evidence that the women do because they are asking questions that Minnie Wright will not answer since they are not being straight forward on how they ask the questions and are more arrogant about how their approach is going to work. While the women go with a more straight forward and realistic method to their approach by how they are asking the questions to Minnie Wright.

Posted by: Connor Laramie at September 4, 2015 09:28 AM

Conner Knaresboro
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA09
4 September 2015

Question: After finding out about the fate of the bird, does Mr. Wright's method of death seem more significant?
Answer: I do think that his way of death is significant because when Mr. Wright tried strangling the bird it showed him how much pain it caused the bird. The bird's scars that were around its neck were like a symbol of Mrs. Wright and the misery that she will have to go through the rest of her life. Thus making the bird ending up being alive just as important.

Posted by: Conner Knaresboro at September 4, 2015 10:33 AM

Peyton Farrier
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
04 September 2015

Question: How would you generalize the attitude of the men towards the women? Vice-versa?

Answer: The men acted like the women were more like maids and needed everything to be in the best shape while the men worked. "MRS. HALE. Those towels get dirty awful quick. Men’s hands aren’t always as clean as they
might be. COUNTY ATTORNEY. Ah, loyal to your sex, I see.". (Glaspell 3) However the women were respectful to the men and only wanted to please them and make them happy.

Posted by: Peyton Farrier at September 4, 2015 11:52 AM

Lawrence Watt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
4 September 2015

Question 19: What is the significance of the bird? Is it just part of the motive, or is
it symbolic?

Answer: The significance of the bird is huge within the story. As the men are conducting the investigation, the woman were doing a bit of searching on their own. While looking around the house for items to bring to Mrs. Wright in jail, they find a dead bird. This is something that the men overlooked and did not find themselves. At the end of the investigation the county attorney states that all the evidence points to the wrongdoing of Mrs. Wright but notes that one thing is still missing as he says, “No, Peters, it’s all clear except a reason for doing it. But you know juries when it comes to women. If there was some definite thing, something to show— something to make a story about—a thing that would connect up with this strange way of doing it” (Glaspell 10). In this statement the county attorney is referring to the fact that while they are just about positive Mrs. Wright committed the murder they still don't have a motive for why she may have done it. While the men are utterly confused about the absence of a motive the woman have the missing piece of the puzzle in their hands. They discovered the dead bird, the one thing the men didn't find, which would’ve been the clear motive in Mrs. Wright killing her husband. The bird was the key to the whole investigation and possibly the key to the prosecution though it was a secret that the woman kept to themselves.

Posted by: Lawrence Watt at September 4, 2015 02:27 PM

Daniel Wright
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic writing 2 CA09
4 September 2015

Question: What was Mrs. Wright's motive?

Answer: Mrs. Wright's motive in killing her husband, was vengeance. Mr. Wright had strangled her canary, which brought a measure of happiness to her otherwise joyless life. "I wonder how it would seem never to have had any children around. (Pause.) No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird—a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too" (Page 9 Trifles)

Posted by: Daniel Wright at September 4, 2015 02:57 PM

Necdet Gurkan
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
4 September 2015

Answer:
The story rotates around the unexpected death of John Wright. There are five types that join in the investigation of this happen. Mrs. Hale whose attendance is only in courtesy of trusting the sheriff s wife corporation, may be donated to her top-secret detection. In this short story, Mrs. Hale’s personality has a significant part to Mrs. Wright s rival in that she has minor spirits of responsibility and similarly her finding of the hint to the cause. Mrs. Hale had met Mrs. Peterson at the county fair last year. They knew each other as a name and face, also Mrs. Hale was thinking that Mrs. Peterson does not look like Sheriff’s wife. The beginning Mrs. Peterson’s encourage behavior, which was stepping out to help Mrs. Hale, was faced with Mrs. Hale. Mr. Hale, and Mrs. Peters were on a task to discovery the resolve of the killer. At this point in time, Mrs. Wright is the main suspicious. Mrs. Hale asked to be involved the party in turn to be giving Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s wife, about friendship.

Posted by: Necdet Gurkan at September 4, 2015 03:09 PM

Jorge Braham
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing ENG 122 CA09
6 September 2015

Question:
How does the setting of the story affect the plot? Consider the location of the house, the time of year, and the temperature of the house.
Answer:
The setting of the story is on a farm I would say they are like in the south considering there accents or the way they are talking. I see the house being by a swamp on a farm very old house. This helps the plot because it makes it creepier. It provides clues to help figure out the murder. The Farm adds that mysterious setup I think Susan Glaspell is trying to go for.

Posted by: Jorge Braham at September 7, 2015 04:01 PM

Shania Bien, Shyiem Brown, Michael Mooney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
8 September 2015

Question: Look up Roberts’s definitions of “stock character” and “stereotype” in his discussion of flat characters in Chapter 3. Who, if any, are the stock/stereotypical characters from Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” (the same story as the play “Trifles”)? Explain how these characters “do not undergo significant change and development.” Where possible, point to actual examples from the text and be ready to explain where they are.

Answer: Stock characters are those types of characters who have become conventional or stereotypical through repeated use in particular types of stories. Stock characters are instantly recognizable to readers or audience members (e.g. the mad scientist, the geeky boy with glasses, and the faithful sidekick). Stock characters are normally one-dimensional flat characters. In Trifles, the three prominent men in the story could be considered "stock" or "stereotype" characters. Mr. Hale, the Sheriff, and the County Attorney are all flat characters because they don’t change throughout the story, in other words their roles stay the same and the writer doesn’t have to do much in order for views to understand them. For example, the county attorney naively stumbles upon the box containing the dead canary, which can be used as evidence in the killing of John Wright. But he is too busy scoffing at the women about their findings that aren't dangerous enough for this investigation (page 10). As the woman in the story slowly uncover subtle hints, they slowly change their opinions, and their outlook on the situation. Meanwhile, the men, despite their findings and experiences, remain wholly the same. This is evidenced by their behavior. In the beginning, they look down on the women for paying attention to subtle details, like the differences between Mrs. Wright's two sewing projects (how one is neat and orderly and the other is erratic). Additionally, the women begin to sort through Mrs. Wright's things, finding subtle details that paint a picture of the Wright household leading up to John Wright's death. The men completely ignore the finding of the women and continually mock them, through to the end of the book.

Examples
Page 3
Page 5
Page 8

http://learn.lexiconic.net/characters.htm

Posted by: Shania, shyiem, michael at September 9, 2015 10:31 AM

Madison Helms
Yari
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 academic writing II CAO3
12 September 2015

Question: What is the primary point of view (or, points of view) used in Susan Glaspell’s “Jury of her Peers”? If first person, you must say if the narrator is reliable or unreliable and, if third person, which of the three variations is the best fit. Prove your answer with examples from the text.

Answer: The point of view in this story is from Mrs. Hale's perspective. It is in third person limited. We don't know what all of the characters are thinking, and we mostly get the thoughts from Mrs. Hale. Through her eyes we learn that Minnie did not have a happy life with her husband John. He took away everything that filled her life with happiness. Mrs. Hale was able to see how the evidence was beginning to stack up against Minnie in the murder of her husband. Her kitchen was a mess, her stitches in her quilting were uneven, and her poor bird had been taken from her(pg.8). These point to her being guilty because he was drowning her in a lifestyle she did not deserve. We learn these specifics through Mrs. Hale.

Posted by: madison Helms at September 12, 2015 09:31 PM

Phillip Moss
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA06
22 January 2016

Question: How do the men and women investigate differently? Why don't the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer: In “A Jury of Her Peers” The men attempting to solve the case are so focused with finding concrete evidence linking Minnie Wright to the murder of her husband that they overlook numerous oddities in the house that provide a clear motivation for the killing. The two women in the story, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale find clear evidence linking Minnie to the crime however they end up sympathizing with her when their husbands mock them for pointing out evidence.

“Just as the stair door opened Mrs. Hale was saying:
"Do you suppose she was going to quilt it or just knot it?"
The sheriff threw up his hands.
"They wonder whether she was going to quilt it or just knot it!"
There was a laugh for the ways of women”(Glaspell p.11).

Posted by: Phillip Moss at January 21, 2016 01:30 PM

Chloe Lelliott
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 2 CA06
21 January 2016

Question 7) What does Mrs. Wrights behavior say about her state of mind?

Answer 7) Mrs Wrights behavior suggests that she is in a state of shock prior to her husbands death. We can tell this because in the text on page two Hale tells us that as he enters the house, Mrs Wright is just sitting there "rocking back and forth. She had her apron in her hands and was kind of pleating it." This behavior shows that Mrs Wright is feeling anxious and doesn't know how to respond to the situation of her husbands death.

As well as this, on page two also, Hale tells us that Mrs Wright looks "queer" and when he elaborates he says "well as if she didn't know what she was going to do next". This also informs us that Mrs Wright is feeling mentally unstable as she is deep in thought and unaware of her actions.

Posted by: Chloe Lelliott at January 21, 2016 02:57 PM

Heather Hauck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
21 January 2016

Question #13: Why don’t the women tell the men what they’ve found out?

Answer: They don’t tell the men what they found out because they were mocked by the county attorney when he searched the kitchen and commented on the mess and kicked the dirty pans (Glaspell 3). Further, they are ridiculed because they had more concern for the fruit than the murder of John Wright, as the attorney said, “she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about” (Glaspell 3). Additionally, Hale stated, “women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 3). Those comments apparently create a foil amongst the men and women as the men continue to belittle the women and their household chores. Later the two women remarked on how they were thankful the men did not hear them conversing about Mrs. Wright’s dead bird, “wouldn’t they laugh!” (Glaspell 9). This discourse was just another trifle matter which women worried about, something trivial.

Posted by: Heather Hauck at January 21, 2016 03:31 PM

Randawnique Coakley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 06
22 January 2016

Question: 2. John Wright doesn't want to get a telephone. What does this tell us about his character?

Answer: In the short play, Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, John Wright is murdered; however, a characteristic of John Wright is revealed. Hale described John’s reaction to Hale’s request to share a telephone line; John said that “folks talked too much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet”. John appears to want to be distant from the town and the residents. John’s reaction demonstrates to the audience that he is quiet and prefers to keep to himself, similar to an introvert.

Posted by: Randawnique Coakley at January 21, 2016 06:17 PM

Vincia Mitchell
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 11 CA06
21 January 2016

Question: The men say that women worry over ‘trifles”. What is a “trifle’?

Answer: According to Hale, in the text, “Trifles”, women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 3), which means that the things that women are mostly concerned about are of little importance or value. Therefore, a trifle is something that is of little importance or value.

Posted by: Vincia Mitchell at January 21, 2016 06:34 PM

Hannah Rowe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CAO6
21 January 2016

“Trifles”

Q: The women follow the men into the kitchen. Is this significant?

A: This is significant because at first the women were afraid to walk even into the house. Now, because of the men’s continuous patronizing comments, the women start to side with Minnie Foster. Traditionally, the kitchen is the main place a woman would be found…this was the lifestyle of a homemaker. The men were criticizing the messy kitchen, saying, “Dirty towels! (Kicks his foot against the pans under the sink.) Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies” (Glaspell 3). But after closer observation, the women began to realize that she, Minnie, “was like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and-fluttery. How-did-she-change” (7). After finding the dead bird, they began piecing together the puzzle: that maybe Minnie felt trapped too. And after her bird was killed, she killed the man who killed it and, in a sense, killed her too (8-9).

Posted by: Hannah Rowe at January 21, 2016 09:05 PM

Nastassja Sielchan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
21
January 2016

Question: How has Mrs. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale?
Why?

Answer: In this play, Mrs. Hale refers to Mrs. Wrights as being like a bird. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters were watching the broken door of the bird cage swing as Mrs. Hale said, “She—come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself—real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery. How—she—did—change” (Glaspell 7). Mrs. Hale implies that now Mrs. Wright is not anymore sweet and timid, but she is cold.

Posted by: Nastassja Sielchan at January 21, 2016 11:18 PM

Nastassja Sielchan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
21 January 2016

Question: How has Mrs. Wright changed over the years, according to Mrs. Hale?
Why?

Answer: In this play, Mrs. Hale refers to Mrs. Wrights as being like a bird. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters were watching the broken door of the bird cage swing as Mrs. Hale said, “She—come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself—real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery. How—she—did—change” (Glaspell 7). Mrs. Hale implies that now Mrs. Wright is not anymore sweet and timid, but she is cold.

Posted by: Nastassja Sielchan at January 21, 2016 11:19 PM

Matt Scharr
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 CA 06 Academic Writing II
21 January 2016

Question: How would you generalize the attitude of the men towards the women?
Answer: The attitude the men display towards the women would be described as condescending. In the first part of the story we see Martha’s husband yelling at her saying, “Don’t keep folks waiting out here in the cold.” This is a pretty aggressive way to talk to your wife for a very minor incident. Another way we see men acting strange toward the women is when Mrs. Hale is being questioned about her husband being strangled, the sheriff seems like he does not believe a word she is saying. Almost as if he doesn’t value her side of the story. Overall I think the attitude of the men towards the women is like an old school way of life where the women are submissive to the men and do what they say when they want, viewing the women as inferiors.

Posted by: Matt Scharr at January 21, 2016 11:27 PM

Clark de Bullet
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
21 January 2016

Trifles

Question #3: How do men and women investigate differently? Why don’t the men find the evidence that the women do?

Answer: The reason that the men do not find the evidence that the women do is because the men are looking for incriminating information that is like a smoking gun. They want something solid and certain where they can just incriminate her immediately. The women are looking for the smaller details, something psychological or that will lead them to some of the answers such as the messed up quilt and the bread (Glaspell 4). The men would take something like the kitchen and say, “Here’s a nice mess” (2) while the women start thinking deeper into it. The women wonder why Minnie would leave her kitchen in such a state while the men think these details to be unimportant. These careful observations led to the women uncovering the answer to the case and not the men.

Posted by: Clark de Bullet at January 22, 2016 12:49 AM

Jennifer Belcastro
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122-Academic Writing II CA06
22 January 2016

Question: Is there any significance of how the men crisscross the house several times, moving from different rooms to the barn? How does it make their investigation seem?

Answer: The men were moving around the house and to the barn were trying to find enough evidence of who killed John. The county attorney tells the men, "I guess we'll go upstairs first -- then out to the barn and around there" (Glaspell 3). This quote shows that the county attorney and the sheriff want to find the suspect in the crime. The investigation was turning into if Mrs. Wright killed her husband. The county attorney finds out the rope used to kill John was from his house and not from an outside source, "No sign at all of anyone having come from the outside. Their own rope" (8). The men were sure it had to be someone the family knew to kill John.

Posted by: Jennifer Belcastro at January 22, 2016 11:35 AM

Justin Robinson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
22 January 2016

Question: 19.) What is the significance of the bird? Is it just part of the motive, or is
it symbolic?

Answer: The bird symbolizes the way John Wright treated Minnie throughout their marriage. It symbolizes this because John strangled the song bird and Martha Hale would refer to Minnie as a bird because of her love to sing. Therefore in the relationship the bird symbolizes Minnie and how John treated her.

Posted by: Justin Robinson at January 22, 2016 03:15 PM

Heather Hauck / Travis Farmer
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
29 January 2016

Question A: Who is the roundest character and why? Who is the flattest character and why? Who is the most dynamic character and why?

Answer: Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are the roundest characters in Glaspell’s, “Trifles.” The play primarily focuses on two protagonists who, through their discourse, come to the realization that Minnie lost control and killed her husband. Mrs. Peters discovers the birdcage in the cabinet and contemplates the reasoning behind the broken door, and both wonder what happened to the bird. Mrs. Hale commented, “she was kind of like a bird herself” (Glaspell 7). As we discover, the bird and birdcage denote Minnie’s life. The most round and dynamic character is Minnie Wright. Although she does not speak in the play, we learn about her through Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale. Minnie was an extrovert who loved to sing in the choir and spend time with friends (Glaspell 5); however, once she married she became isolated and ultimately a prisoner to her husband and commits murder. The sheriff, attorney, and Mr. Hale are the flattest characters because they show no change in character and have only one objective, finding evidence to determine the death of John Wright.

Question B: What exactly is the point of view? Is there more than one?

Answer: There is not a point of view. Trifles is a play without a narrator, and as such does not fall under standard conventions of a point of view. If it did have a narrator, we could categorize the play as an omniscient third person point of view. There is only one fixed play point of view.

Posted by: Heather Hauck at January 29, 2016 10:40 PM

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