Trifles: 1916 Susan Glaspell Characters: • George Henderson

Trifles: 1916
Susan Glaspell
George Henderson: County attorney, searches the house with the sheriff & Mr. Hale
Henry Peters: Town sheriff, married to Mrs. Peters, searching the house with the other men.
Lewis Hale: A neighboring farmer to the Wrights, he is also searching the house.
Mrs. Peters: Relates to Mrs. Wright about losing a child when it was two, whereas in Mrs.
Wright’s case it was her bird.
Mrs. Hale: Tags along with Mrs. Peters and their husbands, she feels guilty for not visiting her
over the past year, she hasn’t visited because the house is so sad and depressing. She blames it
on Mr. Wright.
Mrs. Wright: Alleged murderer of Mr. Wright, it is never proved but the women discover it at
the end. Mr. Wright was a depressing and mean man, before she married him she was a
completely different person.
Mr. Wright has just been killed and the characters including, the sheriff, attorney, and Mr. Hale
all come to investigate. When Mr. hale was found, Mrs. Hale was just sitting in her rocking chair like
nothing ever happened, the women search through her things to find thing that they could take to her.
They notice very peculiar things that lead them to question the fact that she may be the murderer. They
decide to get some of her sewing things when they discover her bird killed in her sewing box. Because of
the time this was written women had not opinion so they decide to not say anything to the men, even
though they have proof that she may have killed Mr. Wright. While the men were looking for physical
clues, the women thought through her emotional life and the many motives she had to kill her husband.
“Wright was close. I think maybe that’s why she kept so much to herself…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” (Mrs. Hale, 554).
The women are convinced that Mr. Wright ruined the wonderful woman that Mrs. Wright used to be,
this quote takes place as they are examining a skirt she recently sewed. They talk about how she isn’t
even a member of the country club and they agree that who would want to be when you look as shabby
as she usually does.
“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-with-wouldn’t they laugh” (Mrs.
Peters 560).
Sense and Sensibility:
Jane Austen:
Mrs. Dashwood: Mother of the three girls, guides them and helps them through their struggles.
Elinor Dashwood: Oldest of the 3 girls, she represents the sense in this story. She doesn’t let her
emotions show; she is an example to everyone, including her mother, as to how she should act.
Marianne Dashwood: The second oldest and complete opposite of Elinor. She is the sensibility of
the story; she lets her emotions run free, and just says and does what she feels.
Margret Dashwood: The youngest of the three, fairly young and dreams to be like her sisters.
Colonel Brandon: A retired officer and friend to the Dashwood’s cousin, Sir John. He falls in love
with Marianne and although Marianne doesn’t realize her love for him until the end, he waits
for her.
Edward Ferrars: he is the brother to Fanny, who is married to the Dashwood’s half-brother. He is
in love with Elinor, but has been engaged for over four years. When his mother finds out who he
is engaged to she cuts him off from his inheritance and threatens to disown him. The
engagement is broken off because Lucy Steele, the woman he is engaged to, won’t marry a man
without inheritance so she marries his brother Robert. And then he marries Elinor.
Mrs. Ferrars: Mother to Edward, Fanny and Robert. Very manipulative and selfish.
Robert Ferrars: younger brother to Edward, ends up marrying the women Edward was engaged
to for four years.
Sophia Grey: The women of Edward’s engagement, marries Robert instead because of money.
Mrs. Jennings: Lady Middleton’s, the Dashwood’s relative, mother. Her goal is to get the
Dashwood girls married off as soon as they can.
Lady Middleton: Married to Sir John Middleton, a distant relative to the Dashwood’s, they invite
them do stay at their cottage along with their other bratty kids.
Sir John Middleton: A distant relative to the Dashwood’s. He is good friends with Colonel
Brandon and approves Marianne for him.
John Willoughby: The man Marianne falls in love with. He breaks her heart leaving her alone.
She becomes so depressed she can’t eat and almost dies. Although she was sad for a moment in
time she is much happier with Colonel Brandon and he is left alone in the end.
“Elinor, this eldest daughter, who advice was so effectual, possessed a strength of understanding, and
coolness of judgment…the counselor of her mother…her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings
were strong; but she knew how to govern them...” (92).
“Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. She was sensible and clever; but
eager in everything: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable,
interesting: she was everything but prudent” (93).
“They were of course very anxious to see a person on whom so much of their comfort at Barton must
depend; and the elegance of her appearance was favourable to their wishes. Lady Middleton was not
more than six or seven and twenty; her face was handsome, her figure tall and striking, and her address
graceful. Her manners had all the elegance which her husband's wanted. But they would have been
improved by some share of his frankness and warmth; and her visit was long enough to detract
something from their first admiration, by shewing that though perfectly well-bred, she was reserved,
cold, and had nothing to say for herself beyond the most common-place inquiry or remark”
“When he was present she had no eyes for anyone else. Everything he did was right.
Everything he said was clever. If their evenings at the Park were concluded with cards, he
cheated himself and all the rest of the party to get her a good hand. If dancing formed the
amusement of the night, they were partners for half the time; and when obliged to separate
for a couple of dances, were careful to stand together, and scarcely spoke a word to
anybody else. Such conduct made them, of course, most exceedingly laughed at; but
ridicule could not shame, and seemed hardly to provoke them.”
The Yellow Wallpaper:
Protagonist: The narrator, Jane. She is very sick, and her husband has confined her to stay in her
bedroom. She has serious mental problems, she sees people through the walls crawling. She
despises the yellow wallpaper on her bedroom walls so she scrapes it all off. She has some
serious psychological issues…her husband diagnosed her as depressed.
“I get positively angry with the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and own
and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place
where two breadth didn’t match, and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher
than the other” (292).
John: The narrator’s husband, he is a doctor and won’t let her leave her bedroom in fear of her
injuring herself. He doesn’t see what his treatments are doing to her, making her go crazy and
“John is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of
superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures”
Important quotes:
“There are things in that paper which nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern
the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a
woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit. I wonder—I begin to
think—I wish John would take me away from here” (299).
“I tried to lift and push it until I was lame, and then I got so angry I bit off a little piece at one corner-but
it hurt my teeth. Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor. It sticks horribly and
the pattern just enjoys it! All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just
shriek with derision!” (300).
The narrator in both of these quotes is beginning to show signs of how the treatment John is giving to
her is making her go crazy. She is starting to see people through the walls crawling…at one point she
believes that is how she got here is crawling through the yellow wallpaper. I believe this is why she hates
the wallpaper so much. It shares to much of what she thinks is her past, but really is just her imagination
going wild.
Protagonist: Hamlet- He is the son of a deceased King. He learns his uncle who has just taken
over the thrown murdered his father. His father tells him this as a ghost and orders Hamlet to
get revenge.
Antagonist: Claudius- Hamlet’s uncle, he has just taken over the Kingdom and he murdered his
brother and married his wife. He is against Hamlet, but Hamlet is to smart and witty for him to
beat him at his own game.
Ophelia: Hamlet’s love, she is controlled by her brother and father. Hamlet has to act insane all
the time so that he doesn’t blow his cover of what he is truly trying to do, she is so sick of being
controlled by everyone so she kills herself.
Laertes: Brother to Ophelia, Hamlet kills his father on accident and he goes for revenge. Hamlet
ends up killing him in the end at a dual where everyone dies but Horatio and the Prince of
Polonius: The father of Laertes and Ophelia. Hamlet accidentally murders him thinking it was his
uncle. Polonius and Claudius spy on Hamlet because they think he is insane.
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern: Friends of Hamlet who turn against him to help his uncle get rid of
Important quotes:
“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows
of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die to
sleep no more; and by a sleep to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh
is heir to: tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep to sleep perchance to dream ay
ther’s the rub for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal
coil must give us pause. There’s the respect that makes calamity of so long life: for who would bear the
whips and scorns of time the oppressor’s wrong the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despised love,
the law’s delay the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of th’ unworthy takes, when he
himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear to grunt and sweat under a
weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no
traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we
know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is
sicklied o’er the pale cast of though, and enterprises of great pitch and moment with this regard their
currents turn awry and lose the name of action. Soft you now the fair Ophelia. Nymph, in thy orisons be
all my sins remembered” ( 756-57).- Hamlet
“ I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum”
(805).- Hamlet
“ Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest” (816).Horatio