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In part two of Trifles, how does the image of the dead bird wrapped in a silk cloth strengthen the feminist theme that women often suffer abuses within a male-dominated society?

The bird symbolizes loneliness, which Mrs. Wright endured throughout her marriage to Mr. Wright.

The awful crime of which Mrs. Hossack stands accused is still fresh in the minds of every newspaper reader in Iowa.

Which best describes the excerpt?

It is an opinion because it cannot be proven using objective evidence.

COUNTY ATTORNEY. Yes, but I would like to see what you take, Mrs. Peters, and keep an eye out for anything that might be of use to us.

MRS. PETERS. Yes, Mr. Henderson.
(The women listen to the men’s steps on the stairs, then look about the kitchen.)

MRS. HALE. I’d hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing. (She arranges the pans under sink which the Lawyer had shoved out of place.)

MRS. PETERS. Of course it’s no more than their duty.

MRS. HALE. Duty’s all right, but I guess that deputy sheriff that came out to make the fire might have got a little of this on. (Gives the roller towel a pull.) Wish I’d thought of that sooner. Seems mean to talk about her for not having things slicked up when she had to come away in such a hurry.

A possible advantage of hearing this scene, as opposed to reading it silently, is that

various sound effects can be used to create or enhance the mood.

Which stage direction from part one of Trifles most adds to the suspenseful tone?

MRS. PETERS (starts to speak, glances up, where footsteps are heard in the room above. In a low voice.)

What is one advantage of reading a play as opposed to watching or listening to it?

Readers can review scenes and dialogue.

COUNTY ATTORNEY (preoccupied). Is there a cat?
(Mrs. Hale glances in a quick covert way at Mrs. Peters.)

MRS. PETERS. Well, not now. They’re superstitious, you know. They leave.

COUNTY ATTORNEY (to Sheriff Peters, continuing an interrupted conversation.) No sign at all of anyone having come from the outside. Their own rope. Now let’s go up again and go over it piece by piece. (They start upstairs.) It would have to have been someone who knew just the—
(Mrs. Peters sits down. The two women sit there not looking at one another, but as if peering into something and at the same time holding back. When they talk now, it is the manner of feeling their way over strange ground, as if afraid of what they are saying, but as if they cannot help saying it.)

How would an audio recording most likely convey the characters’ actions during this scene?

with a change in the volume of the characters’ voices

For over fifteen years there was no word of this yearning in the millions of words written about women, for women, in all the columns, books and articles by experts telling women their role was to seek fulfillment as wives and mothers. Over and over women heard in voices of tradition and of Freudian sophistication that they could desire no greater destiny than to glory in their own femininity.

Which words best emphasize society’s view of the "experts" who claimed to understand women’s needs?

tradition, sophistication

Based on the article "Introduction to Modern Drama Study," what is a common issue addressed in feminist dramas during the 1950s and ’60s?

the effect a husband could have on his wife

A drama in which the characters and setting are presented in typical and real-world ways is known as


In part two of Trifles, how does Glaspell use irony to illustrate the idea that women were often seen as less capable than men in the early twentieth century?

She leads the men all over the Wright’s property to find clues, but leaves the women in the kitchen.

COUNTY ATTORNEY (facetiously). Well, Henry, at least we found out that she was not going to quilt it. She was going to—what is it you call it, ladies!

MRS. HALE (her hand against her pocket). We call it—knot it, Mr. Henderson.

How is this excerpt an example of irony?

It appeared as though Mrs. Hale was answering the question, but she actually meant something quite different with her response.

A mother of four who left college at nineteen to get married told me:

"I’ve tried everything women are supposed to do—hobbies, gardening, pickling, canning, being very social with my neighbors, joining committees, running PTA teas. I can do it all, and I like it, but it doesn’t leave you anything to think about—any feeling of who you are. . . . I’m a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker, somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I?"

The underlined words and phrases in the excerpt most contribute to a tone of

of desperation

HALE. Well, she looked queer.

COUNTY ATTORNEY. How do you mean—queer?

HALE. Well, as if she didn’t know what she was going to do next. And kind of done up.

Which word has a meaning similar to "queer" as it is used in this excerpt?


REGINA (to BEN, triumphantly) Exactly. (To HORACE) So I did a little bargaining for you and convinced my brothers they weren’t the only Hubbards who had a business sense.

HORACE. Did you have to convince them of that? How little people know about each other! (Laughs) But you’ll know better about Regina next time, eh, Ben? (BEN, REGINA, HORACE laugh together. OSCAR’S face is angry) Now let’s see. We’re getting a bigger share. (Looking at OSCAR) Who’s getting less?

Which of the following themes does this reinforce?

Women are commonly underestimated by those within society.

REGINA. (to BEN) Horace would like to talk to you now.
HORACE. Horace would not like to talk to you now. I am very tired, Regina—
REGINA. (comes to him) Please. You’ve said we’ll try our best with each other. I’ll try. Really, I will. Please do this for me now. You will see what I’ve done while you’ve been away. How I watched your interests. (Laughs gaily) And I’ve done very well too. But things can’t be delayed any longer. Everything must be settled this week— (HORACE sits down. BEN enters. OSCAR has stayed in the dining room, his head turned to watch them. LEO is pretending to read the newspaper) Now you must tell Horace all about it. Only be quick because he is very tired and must go to bed. (HORACE is looking up at her. His face hardens as she speaks) But I think your news will be better for him than all the medicine in the world.
BEN. (looking at HORACE) It could wait. Horace may not feel like talking today.
REGINA. What an old faker you are! You know it can’t wait. You know it must be finished this week. You’ve been just as anxious for Horace to get here as I’ve been.

What does this excerpt emphasize about the character of Regina?

her dismissive attitude toward her husband

HORACE. (smiles at her, nods) And I could guess that he wants to keep control in the family.

REGINA (to BEN, triumphantly) Exactly. (To HORACE) So I did a little bargaining for you and convinced my brothers they weren’t the only Hubbards who had a business sense.

HORACE. Did you have to convince them of that? How little people know about each other! (Laughs) But you’ll know better about Regina next time, eh, Ben? (BEN, REGINA, HORACE laugh together. OSCAR’S face is angry) Now let’s see. We’re getting a bigger share. (Looking at OSCAR) Who’s getting less?

The underlined words and phrases best relate to which issue that is commonly found in feminist literature?


BEN. (very jovial) I suppose I have been. And why not? Horace has done Hubbard Sons many a good turn. Why shouldn’t I be anxious to help him now?

REGINA. (laughs) Help him! Help him when you need him, that’s what you mean.

BEN. What a woman you married, Horace. (Laughs awkwardly when HORACE does not answer) Well, then I’ll make it quick. You know what I’ve been telling you for years. How I’ve always said that every one of us little Southern businessmen had great things—(Extends his arm)—right beyond our finger tips. It’s been my dream: my dream to make those fingers grow longer: I’m a lucky man, Horace, a lucky man. To dream and to live to get what you’ve dreamed of. That’s my idea of a lucky man. (Looks at his fingers as his arm drops slowly) For thirty years I’ve cried bring the cotton mills to the cotton. (HORACE opens medicine bottle). Well, finally I got up nerve to go to Marshall Company in Chicago.

What would be similar about a stage and a film interpretation of this scene?

Viewers would have to infer the emotions and motivations of Ben and Regina.

THE LADY. Such a lovely house, Madam Potiphar!—But what is this quiet room? Your husband’s study?

MADAM POTIPHAR. (coming in) Oh, this is nothing—merely the room of one of the slaves. Come, dear Cousin Asenath, and I will show you the garden. The pomegranates are just beginning to blossom.

ASENATH. The room of a slave? Indeed! He seems to be an educated person!

How would a stage interpretation differ from an audio production of this scene?

Viewers would not have to visualize the setting or the background associated with this scene.

Which piece of dialogue from The Chaste Adventures of Joseph: A Comedy most reveals Madam Potiphar’s motives for wanting her husband to replace his secretary, Joseph?

MADAM POTIPHAR. (looking amusedly after her) Silly little thing! (She stands there thinking.)There’s no doubt of it! Joseph did come from Heliopolis last year.

MADAM POTIPHAR. She will be back in a moment. I brought her here to show her [Joseph], at work. But he is away somewhere, as usual.

POTIPHAR. (defensively) He has other duties.

MADAM POTIPHAR. Oh, yes, no doubt!

POTIPHAR. What’s the matter now?

MADAM POTIPHAR. Nothing new. You know what I think about this Joseph of yours.

POTIPHAR. (irritated) Now, if you are going to bring that subject up again—! Well, I tell you flatly, I won’t do it.

Which best described the tone of this excerpt?


In The Chaste Adventures of Joseph: A Comedy, the garden outside the Potiphar’s home symbolizes growth and natural beauty, and it highlights the

tense and rigid atmosphere inside the Potiphar’s home.

EMIL: Guess you don’t know much about the Espionage Act or you’d go and make a little friendly call on your uncle. When your case comes to trial—and Judge Lenon may be on the bench—(whistles) He’s one fiend for Americanism.

What best describes the effect of the word fiend in this excerpt?

It characterizes Judge Lenon as a corrupt judge who cares more about patriotism than he cares about justice.

In Glaspell’s The Inheritors, which quotation most supports the feminist theme that women often feel a desire to control their own fate?

MADELINE: He got this letter out to me—written on this scrap of paper. . . . He’s in what they call ‘the hold’, father—a punishment cell.

FRED JORDAN’S cell. Slowly, at the end left unchalked, as for a door, she goes in. Her hand goes up as against a wall; looks at her other hand, sees it is out too far, brings it in, giving herself the width of the cell. Walks its length, halts, looks up.) And one window—too high up to see out.

(In the moment she stands there, she is in that cell; she is all the people who are in those cells. EMIL JOHNSON [who works at the courthouse], appears from outside.)

MADELINE: (stepping out of the cell door, and around it) Hello, Emil.

EMIL: How are you, Madeline? How do, Mr Morton. (IRA barely nods and does not turn. . . . EMIL turns back to MADELINE) Well, I’m just from the courthouse. Looks like you and I might take a ride together, Madeline. You come before the Commissioner at four.

A possible disadvantage to watching this scene, as opposed to reading it silently, is that viewers are

EMIL: Oh, well—Lord, you can’t say everything you think. If everybody did that, things’d be worse off than they are now.

MADELINE: Once in a while you have to say what you think—or hate yourself.

EMIL: (with a grin) Then hate yourself.

Which feminist literary theme of the early- to mid-twentieth century is best reflected in this excerpt?

Women feel pressure to conform to society’s expectations.

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