Mrs. Peters’ Character Development in Trifles by Susan Glaspell
The play Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a murder mystery that takes place in a small Iowa town in the early 1900s. The play centers around the investigation of Mr. Wright’s death, and the suspects are Mrs. Wright and her husband’s niece, Minnie Foster. The sheriff and his deputies are questioning Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, two of the women who live in the town, about the events leading up to Mr. Wright’s death. As the sheriff and his deputies try to piece together what happened, it becomes clear that they view the women as trifles, or insignificant details, in the case. However, it is through the women’s observations and conversations that the truth about what happened is revealed.
2. Mrs. Peters’ Character Development
Mrs. Peters is a round and dynamic character who undergoes a significant transformation throughout the course of the play. When we first meet Mrs. Peters, she is a shy and intimidated wife who seems to be very submissive to her husband. However, as the play progresses, Mrs. Peters slowly begins to assert herself more and more. By the end of the play, she has become a shrewd observer and a triumphant champion of the truth.
3. Mrs. Peters as a Shrewd Observer
One of the most notable examples of Mrs. Peters’ character development can be seen in her role as a shrewd observer. Throughout the course of the play, Mrs. Peters pays close attention to her surroundings and notices things that other characters do not. For instance, she is the first to notice that there is no quilt on the bed and that there is only one pillowcase. She also notices that there are no wrinkles in Minnie’s sewing basket and that there is a scrap of calico fabric hidden in her sleeve. These observations allow Mrs. Peters to put together a clear picture of what happened on the night of Mr. Wright’s death.
4. Mrs. Peters as a Triumphant Champion of the Truth
In addition to being a shrewd observer, Mrs. Peters is also a triumphant champion of the truth. By standiing up to her husband and defending Minnie’s actions, she helps to ensure that justice is served in this case. Furthermore, she shows great courage in speaking up for what she believes is right, even though she knows it will not be popular with her husband or with the other men in town.
The round and dynamic character of Mrs. Peters unfolds throughout the whole play, moving from a shy intimidated wife through a shrewd observer to a triumphant champion of the truth. In doing so, she serves as an excellent example of how female independent thinking can triumph over male dominance and ultimately lead to justice being served.”