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Trifles by Susan Glaspell

            Susan Glaspell was born in Davenport, Iowa in 1876. After graduating high school, she started writing professionally, for a local newspaper. In 1901, she began her career as a fiction writer. Her fiction works were romantic stories set in the Midwest, and she was published in several popular magazines. In 1909, she published her first novel, and in 1913, she married George Cram Cook. He was also a writer, and the two moved to the east coast where they worked on many projects together, and founded two different theater groups. Glaspell died in 1948, having published many stories, plays, and novels. She wrote realism, mainly about women in the Midwest, in rural settings. Her play, Trifles, is an example. It also makes use of a literary device she often used, which is that the main characters are not in the story at all. Trifles is a short play that addresses many issues in a brief space. .
             This one-act play was very interesting. It's got murder, mystery and deceit. In a very short time, there is a great deal that happens. I thought it was interesting that the men that came to solve the crime did not notice any of the important details that the women did, which were all crucial to solving the mystery of how Mr. Wright died.
             This play differs from a short story or a novel in its layout. The description of the scene at the beginning of the play helps to immediately lay out what the kitchen looks like for the mind's eye. It is easy to read the stage directions as part of the action, and in some ways makes it easier to visualize the scene than reading a story or novel. The way the author uses dashes as pauses makes it easier to hear the words as they are meant to be heard. If I were an actor in this play, I would rely heavily on the stage directions and the emotional suggestions of the writer to help find the character, because in this play it seems like what is not said is almost more important than what is.

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