Early on, on page 920, we get our first glimpse of how the men in the play under-value the women when the county attorney says: " I guess before we're through she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about." And Mr. Hale adds: "well, women are used to worrying over trifles." Following closely, the attorney, by making a disparaging remark about Mrs. Wright's housekeeping traits, sets the stage for gender conflict. The two women find a common bond and band together emotionally to oppose helping with the investigation and, infact, hindering it. Not that the men would notice! They, the men, would never stoop to ask a mere woman, although valued, for their input concerning anything they've seen.
The women actually unravel the mystery by noticing the little things , while the men clomp about, feigning importance, looking for glaring evidence of motive, yet not finding any. On page 922 when the sheriff disparages Mrs. Hales remark: "I wonder if she was goin' to quilt it or just knot it" referring to the quilt, the resentment builds.
The hiding of what would be a key piece of evidence, the canary, (Pg. 927) from the men seals the pact between the women: Mrs. Hale, Mrs Peters, and the unseen Mrs. Wright. They'll not help the law that ridicules them.
Labels: Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"