Emotional Break-down in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles T
rifles EssaysEmotional Break-down in Trifles
Trifles is an interesting story about the emotional break-down of a country woman. It is obvious by certain descriptions within the text that she did have an emotional trauma. However, it is never made clear if she killed her husband or did he commit suicide. The emotional trauma can be scene in the beginning of the story by her attitude towards Mr. Hale. Ms. Wright is in a state of shock her constant rocking; pleating of her skirt; her “queer” look and her dead pan response to how Mr. Wright died “He died of a rope around his neck”; all indicate a high level of emotional stress in a situation. She is not responding to anything. Also, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters examine her quilting. The sewing is very nice and even and then suddenly it becomes a wild disaray of stiches. These actions and inactions truly indicate an unbalanced state of mental being, however, is it enough to charge a woman with murder.
What further indicates the difficulty in deciding if Mrs. Wright killed Mr. Wright is the canary. Mrs. Wright shows that she loves the canary by trying to bury it in the pretty sewing box. This is not the action of someone who killed the canary. Mrs. Wright is also described as being like a bird. The reader can envision her as someone petite or slight. She is described as being sweet, pretty, timid and fluttery. It would take a lot for someone of this description to commit murder. On the other hand, Mr. Wright is described as someone who is difficult to live with. He is described by Mrs. Hale as having killed the bird like qualities in his wife. He appears to be an overbearing, unhappy person.
I propose that it is Mr. Wright who kills the canary. He is taking something away from his wife trying to keep control over her. Also the cage is severely damaged. Mrs. Wright is not described as someone with a lot of strength. Following that vein of thought I also propose that Mr. Wright went crazy. He killed the bird and hung himself. It would take a lot of strength to hang a large man and Mr. Wright was envisoned to be. Also the sheriff and county attorney are baffled by the way the rope was strung up, it was rigged up strangely. Perhaps because he had do rig it up in a strange fashion to kill himself. They also say that if she was to show a strong emotion or sudden anger, she probably would have used the gun in the house.
It is my belief that Mrs. Wright became emotionally unbalanced by a series of events. First, Mr. Wright killed the canary while she was sewing. This explains the strange unbalanced stitches and the bird in the sewing basket. Then she wakes up the next morning to find her husband hung beside the bed. That would be enough to stress out anyone. There is still the fact that when in the jail she is still concerned with “trifles”. Trifles such as having an apron, asking about her shawl and her fruit. These do not appear to be concerns of a woman who took charge of a life altering event. Her life is still the same more or less. It is Mr. Wrights that in unalterably changed.