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Essay for Trifles by Susan Glaspell

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The Dramatic Effects of the Setting

While reading the short play, "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell, one can draw many conclusions based on the setting. The reader can form opinions of the characters and lives that they led just by the detailed description of the setting. But what exactly does the author's use of setting do? The setting in the way Susan Glaspell wrote it was to help the reader to understand just how sad the main character, Mrs. Wright's life was. The setting also helps you to understand why she loved her pet bird so much. And more importantly, the dramatic use of setting helps the reader to understand why she killed her husband.

While reading the beginning of the play, the reader gets the feeling that this woman killed her husband for no apparent reason. It is not until Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter's are alone in the main living quarters that you find out more about Mrs. Wright's life. The reader then learns how much of a happy and cheerful person Mrs. Wright was before her marriage. However, the current setting of their home is shown as being very dark and gloomy and not very cheerful at all. The unfinished housework all around the Wright's farm suggests that Mrs. Wright was extremely overwhelmed by her household chores. When the empty bird cage is discovered by Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter's, it significantly effects the reader's perception of the setting. The setting of the home now feels even sadder and extremely lonely because it feels like something important is missing from the home.

The setting also helps you to understand why Mrs. Wright loved the bird so much. The reader can conclude from the setting that the only two things that gave Mrs. Wright any enjoyment were her quilting and her bird. The bird served many purposes. The bird

kept her company. The bird was also like a child to Mrs. Wright because she had no children. The main reason why Mrs. Wright loved her bird so much is because the bird helped her to cope with a very sad and mundane life.

The author's use of setting also helps you to understand why Mrs. Wright killed her husband. The quilting squares she was working on with the messed up stitching, the half done house work coupled along with the way she placed the dead bird in with the quilting help the reader to understand exactly why she killed her husband.



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