Literature A Reflection Of Life 8

For this assignment, you will be reading and analyzing the Susan Glaspell play, Trifles.As you read the play you will notice that its format is quite different from that of a short story or novel. At first, reading the stagedirections, characters’ names and dialogue may feel awkward; but restassured that, as you keep reading you will find your rhythm and be ableto follow the story with little difficulty. 

Please write an essay of 1000 words or morediscussing the questions below. As always, begin your paper with anengaging introduction and clear thesis statement, develop each point inthe body of your paper using examples and quotes from the play, andconclude your paper with a restatement of your thesis and closingremarks. In addition, be sure to maintain your credibility by includingin-text citations and a reference list correctly formatted in APA style.

  1. Setting: What is the setting of the play, in terms of the timeperiod, region and weather? Explain the condition of the house. Whatemotional response does the setting evoke in you?
  2. Characters: Describe the main characters: county attorney GeorgeHenderson, sheriff Henry Peters, neighbor Lewis Hale, Mrs. Hale, andMrs. Peters. What do you also know about John and Minnie Wright? Who inthis story do you feel is/are the protagonist(s) and who is/are theantagonist(s)?
  3. Plot: Summarize the plot of the play in terms of its narrativearc (also known a pyramidal pattern): exposition, rising action,conflict, climax, falling action and resolution/dénouement. What makesthe story suspenseful?
  4. Stage Directions: Comment on Glaspell’s stage directions. Whatinformation do they reveal that you would have not been able to gleanfrom the dialogue alone?
  5. Symbolism: Elaborate on the symbolic meaning of the birdcage, the dead canary, the noose and the items referred to as “trifles.”
  6. Themes: Remark on the main messages of this play. What is the meaning of the title, Trifles? In your opinion, what is Glaspell saying about gender differences and marriage in this story?
  7. Genre: Because this is a play, most of the story is told indialogue format. Articulate the differences between reading a drama andreading a short story. Comment, too, on the experience of reading adrama versus watching it performed by actors.
  8. Final Thoughts: Trifles is based on a true crime storythat Susan Glaspell reported on as a journalist from 1898-1901. Do somebackground research on the actual events (one recommended website is http://www.midnightassassin.com/index.html)and write about the increasing empathy Glaspell felt toward MargaretHossack, the alleged murderess, as Glaspell covered the case. Do youempathize with Hossack and her fictional counterpart, Minnie Wright? Whyor why not? What overall impact has the play had on you?

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