The play, Trifles, written by Susan Glaspell, establishes the discrepancy between men and women’s perception and roles during the early 1900s. Its title, Trifles is tied to the concept that is reemphasized many times in the play, which illustrates that women’s thoughts, observations, and voices were considered as trifles or something of which that has least significance to the society and its values. Glaspell gradually builds the plot up to a controversial murder mystery by giving each character specific attributes and by developing symbolism with the objects mentioned in the play. However, if the play was elaborated to incorporate more details of some factors such as characterization and background of Mr. Peters, Mr. Hale, Mrs. Peters, and Mrs. Hale for a movie, then it could possibly lose its mysterious sensitivity and hinder imagination of particular components of the mystery in the readers’ mind.
Glaspell has created the character of Henry Peters, who is portrayed as a middle-aged local sheriff and husband of Mrs. Peters and who criticizes the women, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, on their findings by mocking at them stating, “They wonder if she was going to quilt it or just knot it” (Glaspell 1116). With the given information of the character, the reader is unable to relate the character to the mystery since Mr. Peters himself has not had any direct relationships with the Wrights before the incident. Even though Mr. Peters’ role in the play is minute, this limitation helps move the attention towards the women. Any addition to Henry Peters’ character such as incorporating his past experiences as a police officer would distract the reader and lose the flow of the play.
In addition to Mr. Peter’s character, Glaspell also introduces the character of Lewis Hale, who is portrayed as a neighboring farmer of the Wrights and has a mediocre relationship with them. Since Mr. Hale was one of the first few people to learn about the murder of John Wright, the reader becomes dependent on Mr. Hale to attain the most accurate information relating to the incident. However, because his experience and observations are told from first person’s point of view, the reader will only be exposed to what Mr. Hale narrates to the audience. This leaves the reader with unanswered questions that remain to be open to what the reader wants to imagine such as, is there any information that Mr. Hale is deliberately leaving out when he shared his experience? Such question leads the reader to another question, if he is hiding something, does that mean he is disloyal to his duty as a sheriff and thus has a phony personality? If the scene at the Wright’s house of when Mr. Hale first visited was told from an omniscient point of view, then the reader would be able to get more straightforward and less biased responses.
If the characters of Henry Peters and Lewis Hale were to be portrayed in a movie, it would be directed such to where the focus of the characters is limited and not...