- Teaching Notes
Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, first performed in Massachusetts in 1916 and inspired by the 1900 trial of Margaret Hossack for the killing of her husband, John, is set at the rural farmhouse of John and Minnie Wright. John Wright is discovered strangled with a rope, and Minnie Wright has been jailed. Sheriff Peters, the county attorney, and a neighboring farmer arrive to collect evidence; two of the wives come along to gather items for Minnie. The men examine the house, but find neither evidence nor motive. The women, however, notice details the men consider to be “trifles,” and figure out why Minnie killed her husband.
This case asks students to consider the complexities of organizational communication, particularly the process by which some subject matter traditionally counts as ...