The county attorney, he has been called to investigate the murder of John Wright and will probably serve as the attorney for the prosecution in the event of a trial. He is young and professional in manner, but he often dismisses the female interest in minor details of domesticity, and he disparages Mrs. Wright for what he perceives as her lack of homemaking abilities.
The middle-aged local sheriff and husband of Mrs. Peters, he is at John Wright's house to examine the scene of the crime. Like Henderson, he gently teases the women about their interest in Mrs. Wright's quilt.
A neighboring farmer, he had entered the Wright farmhouse to ask John about acquiring a telephone, only to find a strangled man and a wife acting very bizarrely. He says, "Women are used to worrying about trifles."
A relative newcomer to the town who never knew Mrs. Wright before John Wright married her, Mrs. Peters is "a slight, wiry woman" with a "thin, nervous face." She is married to the sheriff and prefers to follow the law, often apologizing for the behavior of the men because they are only doing her duty. Mrs. Peters understands loneliness and the world of the female domestic.
The wife of the farmer Lewis Hale, she is of a heavier build than Mrs. Peters and resents the condescension shown to her by the men in general and Henderson in particular because of her gender and domestic occupation. She remembers Mrs. Wright as the young Minnie Foster, and she feels sorry for Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Hale regrets not having come to visit Mrs. Wright to alleviate her cheerless life.
A local farmer, he was commonly considered a good, dutiful man, but he was also a hard man and neglected his wife's happiness. He paid little attention to his wife's opinions and prevented her from singing. The play centers on the motive for his murder.
Born Minnie Foster, she used to be a happy, lively girl who sang in the local choir, but after she married John Wright, her life became unhappy and forlorn. Although she does not appear in the play, she is the main suspect in her husband's murder and sends Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale to collect a few minor items for her from the farmhouse.
Trifles Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Trifles is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Mrs. Peters is married to the sheriff and prefers to follow the law, often apologizing for the behavior of the men because they are only doing her duty. Mrs. Peters understands loneliness and the world of the female domestic. Her statement rings...
The birdcage in the play is the symbol of Minnie’s lack of freedom. By using this symbol, the author compares Minnie with a bird trapped in a “cage” that was her marriage. The bird was Mrs. Wright's only companion. Mr. Wright killed the bird. The...
The name of the play refers specifically to Lewis Hale's casual statement that "women are used to worrying over trifles" near the beginning of the play, when Mrs. Peters' attention is drawn to the broken jars of fruit preserves....