english discussion question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.
poring over evidence
You will be looking at smaller details to try to figure out what they add to your understanding of Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles,” to compare/contrast to the play.
First, in a detailed paragraph with concrete quoted/cited examples, discuss the significance of the title of Susan Glaspell’s short play “Trifles”? How do small, seemingly-trivial, details in the murder mystery suggest what really happened in the farmhouse? NOTE: some of the details, like the knotted stitch, might even be symbolic of what really went on. Unraveling the mystery with small (not huge, glaring) bits of evidence (much like modern forensic science) is a fairly literal device that explains the title, but how else is the worrd trifles used in the story? Is there a second story here that is an attempt to justify the murder.
Hint: Glaspell actually re-wrote this as a short story and later as a short screenplay; the title for both of those versions was “A Jury of Her Peers.”
In a second paragraph (in the same discussion) explore how some ideas in the play overlap with just one of the following: Once again, as always, your posting should be about 350 And be sure you have direct quotations from the works along with properly-done parenthetical citations following those quoted passages.
The second paragraph must be about “The Applicant” i attached
NOTE TO CLASS: Please Read This (some focused thoughts/questions)…
NOTE TO CLASS: Please Read This (some focused thoughts/questions)…
A few questions I have posed in previous classes that you can think about:
Why do the men in “Trifles” not consider that Mrs. Wright could be guilty?
Why does my class assume she is guilty? What is the evidence?
Clearly Mr. Lamb is a symbolic name (an obvious one on multiple levels, and I’m not suggesting it is religious; I can’t see that); has anyone looked up the meaning of Ms. Piff’s name?
What position is Mr. Lamb applying for (and how does this make the play make sense)?
Students sometimes think Thurber’s fable is about society treating women as second-class citizens, but there is nothing in the story to suggest that; why DO they cart off the wife to the asylum?
To help a bit with that question, keep in mind there actually IS a unicorn in the garden.
What is the “game” being played in “You Were Perfectly Fine”?After all, the clear eyed girl is denying much of the truth of what happened the prior evening.
How is the clear-eyed girl in control (winning)?
If these are all power struggles between men and women, who wins in each case? Is there really a winner?
All answers should include documented quotations from the works you are writing about.
The significance of the title of Susan Glaspell’s short play represents how small pieces uncover the truth to a murder. In the play, “Trifles” are described as small and insignificant objects and actions. One of the times trifles is mentioned is at the beginning of the story when the sheriff, county attorney, Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Hale, and Hale are inspecting the kitchen and they notice there are fruit preserves lying on the counter as well as misplaced bread out of its tin. Mrs. Peters expresses how Mrs. Wright was worried about her preserves and how they might freeze. The sheriff says, “Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder and worrying about her preserves.” then the county attorney adds, “I guess before we’re through she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about.” to which Hale responds with, “Well, Women are used to worrying over trifles”(Glaspell). This implies that women are generally used to worrying about insignificant things that tend to do with being a homemaker such as preserves freezing over. In comparison to a murder it does seem like a small worry, but this sets the scene for what took place before the murder and all the trifles allow the women to discover how the murder went about.
The many little details that allow the reader to fathom what occurred in the farmhouse are the knotted stitches used in Mrs.Wright’s sewing as this represents that Mrs.Wright tied a noose around her husband’s neck in order to kill him. The dead bird enclosed in a beautiful box and its cage shows that Mrs.Wright loved this bird and although he met an untimely death she wished to give it a beautiful “coffin”. After further gossip between the two women, the truth about the bird’s unfortunate demise comes to light as no accident, the bird was strangled to death. Mr.Wright killed Mrs.Wright’s bird and she decided to return the favor. The second story being told is how the women compare Mrs.Wright to a bird. Mrs.Wright was the bird and she finally broke out of her cage with the unfortunate cost of her husband’s life. For years she was unappreciated and when she killed him she was finally free. However with her escape, came the end of her life as she will now have to spend the rest of her life in another “cage”, prison.
An idea that overlapped throughout the play was the lack of confidence in a woman’s word. In the short play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell the men are attempting to uncover a murder and put the pieces together as to what really happened. The women are looking around and uncover small things that end up piecing together what really happened, while their opinions are being dismissed as trifles. Similarly in the story “Unicorn In the Garden” by James Thurber the man’s word is taken over the woman’s although she was only repeating what her husband said. When the psychiatrist and police arrive she says, “My husband,” she said, “saw a unicorn this morning.” The police looked at the psychiatrist and the psychiatrist looked at the police. “He told me it ate a lily,” she said. The psychiatrist looked at the police and the police looked at the psychiatrist. “He told me it had a golden horn in the middle of its forehead,”(Thurber). This shows that she is repeating to the police what her husband said. Immediately the officer and psychiatrist begin to restrain her and put her in a straight jacket. Once the husband arrives they ask the husband to confirm that he said what the wife told them. He denies, and with that they take her to an institution entrusting the husband’s word over the wife’s
1.b Reply to this discussion response with about 250+ words.
In Glaspell’s short play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, a mystery is presented of the murder of John Wright, the husband of Mrs. Wright. Though on the surface, it can be decided that since nobody else was around to kill John Wright through strangulation with a rope, it was Mrs. Wright who committed this crime ” ‘Who did this, Mrs. Wright?’ said Harry. He said it business-like—and she stopped pleatin’ of her apron. ‘I don’t know,’ she says. ‘You don’t know?’ says Harry. ‘No,’ says she, ‘Weren’t you sleepin’ in the bed with him?’ says Harry. ‘Yes,’ says she, ‘but I was on the inside.’ ‘Somebody slipped a rope round his neck and strangled him, and you didn’t wake up?’ says Harry. ‘I didn’t wake up,’ she said after him,” (Glaspell 4). The men–the county attorney, sheriff, and Henderson–never are able to find evidence to connect the crime to Mrs. Wright and they even more so cannot connect a motivation “HALE. Well, I’ve got the team around. Pretty cold out there,” (Glaspell 11) but the women–Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale–piece together through seemingly insignificant evidence such as the state of the kitchen being in disarray which hints at some sort of distress happening (Glaspell 1), the unfinished and quite dead bird that Mrs. Wright had loved with a wrung neck (Glaspell 10), and a destroyed cage (Glaspell 8), all of the evidence point to motivation for Mrs. Wright’s actions–that was, the strangulation of the bird by Mr. Wright, which sparked the flame that caused Mrs. Wright to strangle Mr. Wright with a rope. The significance of the title of the play “Trifles” is that trifles can be defined as something with little value, which the men see the evidence that was laid around the house to be, and even disregard what the women might think about the case “COUNTY ATTORNEY. Oh I guess they’re not very dangerous things the ladies have picked up,” (Glaspell 11) but the irony comes from the fact that if the men DID pay attention to these bits and pieces, they would have a much stronger case against Mrs. Wright, showing their lack of care to listening and paying attention to detail is what causes them to ultimately lose a motive.
1.c Reply to this discussion response with about 250+ words
What’s interesting is when we connect the ideas that present themselves in the short play “Trifles” to the short story “The Unicorn in the Garden” by James Thurber. At the end of the story, after the wife attempts to get the husband sent to an asylum, but instead the police see her as insane as the man states he did not see a unicorn at all ” ‘Did you tell your wife you saw a unicorn?’ asked the police. ‘Of course not,’ ” (Thurber 31). The woman is sent away because her husband let this happen, and the motive for this may be that the wife was inattentive and disregards the husband’s excitement, and through even more context given by the wife’s eagerness to get rid of the husband–“She was very excited and there was a gloat in her eye,” (Thurber 20)– shows she has a distaste for him. Despite the husband’s efforts to make some sort of bond with his wife through the efforts of sharing a pleasing moment of meeting a mystical creature in the garden of their own home, it turns out to be the breaking point of their relationship. In “Trifles” there also takes place a transaction of the breaking point of a couple over an animal, resulting of the riddance of one of the partners. Both of these stories share the idea that there is unhappiness in relationships and the lengths people would go to “solve” said unhappiness. There also is a disregard for listening to each other in a relationship, as the sheriff and county attorney disregard the comments of their wives regarding the case, and the wife does the same to the husband, though for different reasons (In “Trifles”, it may be due to their sex, and in “The Unicorn in the Garden” because of their relationship with one another and the claim being absurd in it itself), still displaying some sort of distaste in a relationship
warm-up exercise: mystery analysis
For this exercise, we are going to flip it by looking at actual mystery stories and seeing how THEY work.
First, read the material (two articles, four stories) in this week’s Readings folder on Canvas; there is also a Sample Student Warm-up Exercise there for you to use as a model, though it is written about a mystery novel, not one of our four stories. Choose one of the articles (probabbly “10 Essential Elements of a Mystery” because that will give you more options) and one of the stories.
Then write a comparison/contrast between the article and the story using the following question as your topic:
Are the elements discussed in the articles used effectively in the story? How (or how not); cite examples.
you will quote and cite directly from that article), and you need only one or two examples from the story to show that it does or does not use that element effectively (again, you will explain, but you must also quote examples directly from the story and follow each quotation with an MLA 8/9 parenthetical citation).
This exercise is designed to get you started writing, to set up your paper in MLA-8/9 format and to produce a very short Works Cited page (also in MLA-8/9 format).
Papers not in MLA-8 format will not be accepted.
On to the “more to it stuff.”
This paper is very short, just one or two full pages of text in MLA 8/9 format and a final page with two Works Cited entries (one for your article, and one for the short story. Both the Sample Student Exercise and the MLA Sample file show you how to document a file you got from your Canvas site).
just follow this template:
Start with a brief (exciting I hope) opening paragraph that introduces your reader to the story; pick a detail or two, and feel free to quote/cite here as well. Then write a transition to the main paragraph, something like “There are several elements that make up a successful mystery.” Keep it simple.
The next paragraph will be your ONE body paragraph (if you want to make it two, one for the article and one for the story; that’s OK too), your longest paragraph. In it you will explore one element from the article (maybe the use of red herrings). Explain it in your words, and then you must directly quote what the article says word-for-word at that point; again, look at the Sample Student exercise), and you must follow that with a pranthetical, so something like this:
Blah, blah, blah explain red herrings in your words blah blah blah. According to the Masterclass article, “A good mystery throws the reader off track. Red herrings are an essential element in mysteries. These false clues build tension by creating other suspects and distracting the detective and the reader and leading them away from the real culprit” (“The 10 Essential Elements of a Mystery Story”). NOTE that this article has no author listed, so the parenthetical citation uses the article title in quotationn marks. From here a transition to the story you selected will lead you to explain in your words whether or not this mystery elements is used in the story, say, “Accident” by Agatha Christie. Follow that with an example you quote direectly from the story, so something like this: In her short story “Accident” the author uses this device multiple times. One example is when, “Quote the passage from the story here” (Christie). NOTE that since the author’s last name goes in the parenthetical citation, I introduced this by saying “the author” to avoid repeating the authoor’s name redundantly in the same sentence.
The final brief paragraaph will start with a transition explaining that the story you selected does (or does not) use several conventions of an efffective mystery story. It is (or is not) an effective story that keeps (or fails to keep) the reader’s interest throughout. Or perhaps it manages to surprise the reader. Again, this is just a couple of detailed sentences.
Finally, starting 1″ from the top of its own page, you will have your MLA 8/9 Works Cited.
Requirements: SEE ABOVE