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Trifles

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Trifles

by Susan Glaspell

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Suspense
Setting: America
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

MRS. PETERS [moving uneasily]. We don’t know who killed the bird.

MRS. HALE. I knew John Wright.

MRS. PETERS. It was an awful thing was done in this house that night, Mrs. Hale. Killing a man while he slept, slipping a rope around his neck that choked the life out of him.

MRS. HALE. His neck. Choked the life out of him.

[Her hand goes out and rests on the bird-cage.]

MRS. PETERS [with rising voice]. We don’t know who killed him. We don’t know.

MRS. HALE [her own feeling not interrupted]. If there’d been years and years of nothing, then a bird to sing to you, it would be awful–still, after the bird was still.

MRS. PETERS [something within her speaking]. I know what stillness is. When we homesteaded in Dakota, and my first baby died–after he was two years old, and me with no other then—-

MRS. HALE [moving]. How soon do you suppose they’ll be through, looking for the evidence?

MRS. PETERS. I know what stillness is. [Pulling herself back.] The law has got to punish crime, Mrs. Hale.

MRS. HALE [not as if answering that]. I wish you’d seen Minnie Foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and sang. [A look around the room.] Oh, I wish I’d come over here once in a while? That was a crime! That was a crime! Who’s going to punish that?


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