DISCUSSION BOARD 6: Trifles Trifle is a one-act play that uses a formal device: the main character at its center never appears. How does Glaspell achieve Minnie Foster′s character development? Explain both what we know about her, and how we know these things. Support your answer with textual evidence from the play (up to your choice) (Responses between 150-200 words each). Need for a reply: Even though the main protagonist, Minnie, never makes an appearance in the play, Trifles, the audience gathers a lot of information on her through other characters. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters describe Minnie and what she goes through throughout the play, giving the audience insight into Minnie′s life. The play begins with an attorney going into the Wrights′ house and then two men (Hale and Peters) join. The sheriff comes and questions the men about what happened the previous day. They go through the motions of investigating and trying to figure out who killed John. We eventually find out the Minnie was the one who killed her husband by strangling him, because of many things, but the breaking point being him killing her bird.  Through quotes from the women, the audience gets a feel for how Minnie was prior to her marriage as well as how she was in it. Mrs. Hale describes how the household had begun to change, and she stated, ″It never seemed a very cheerful place″ (Jacobus 924). We can tell from this that the atmosphere of the house changed enough to make her friends not want to come around. Talking about how Minnie used to be, Mrs. Hale tells, ″She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster…″ (Jacobus 925). Here, she is describing how Minnie was prior to being married. We can see that Minnie′s character development is not one that was pleasant, and she got worse as time went on. Even without being present, we can see how Minnie′s character developed, been though she never appeared.    Example: 1. I also came to the same conclusion as you did. Minnie killed her husband because he killed her bird, but it seems that he was slowly choking the life out of her and the bird was the last straw. I think the play is very unique in the way it handles the issue of gender inequality, as well, though you did not mention that. I personally think it is still feminist to do household work, and the play does not right off Minnie as a bad or good woman for being unable to do her household work as much as was standard at the time. Minnie had an unfortunate character arc throughout the story, as you said, but I think in a way it is a feminist play because Mrs. Hale and Mrs Peters chose to look the other way instead of voicing their suspicions. This would fall in line with the feminist undertones of the play. That was my view on Minnie′s story. Need for a reply: In this short one-act play the Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a play that solves a murder mystery. It surrounds the murder of John Wright and his wife who originally is the main suspect. John Wright’s wife’s former name was Minnie Foster and as for this play, although her character continues to develop, Minnie herself is never shown. This lack of Minnie’s appearance is done by showing the other characters’ experiences or perspectives that help paint a picture of who Minnie Foster is which I believe was what Susan Glaspell was trying to accomplish for Minnie Foster’s character. Which was mentioned in a conversation between Minnie and Hale where Minnie Foster seems to be shy and unengaged in the conversation between the two. I found that Minnie Foster is an older lady that had somewhat given up or is very depressed. I found this to be true when  Hale asks “How do, Mrs. Wright, it’s cold, ain’t it? and she said, “Is it?” (Glaspell 923). This shows how Minnie is untethered from the world around her as she continues to sit and plead her apron. I found that this style of play was very interesting with the absence of Minnie Foster which could make the audience feel a more creative or construction of who Minnie Foster could really be.  Example: 1. I agree that Trifles is a murder mystery that circles around Minnie Foster; the wife and murderer of Mr. Wright. Minnie does not speak much but her character appears sad and lonely. Other characters share their opinions of how Minnie used to be, and how she changed with her marriage to Mr. John Wright. I like how you critically think about Minnie’s true character and how she converses with others. Minnie seemed uninterested and unengaged when Hale asks her about Mr. Wright. Hale says “I was surprised: she didn’t ask me to come up to the stove or to set down, but just sat there, not even looking at me, so I said, “I want to see John.” And then she laughed” (Glaspell 923). It was interesting to analyze Minnie’s character and how she once dressed well and sang in the choir but then ended up marrying an abusive man that she murdered. The play has a suspenseful tone because the reader views Minnie in two different ways; once young, beautiful, and part of the choir to brutally murdering her husband. DISCUSSION BOARD 5: The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde said in an interview ″we should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality″. To what extent does the play dramatize such a view?   Support your answer with textual evidence from the play. (Up to your choice) (Responses between 150-200 words each). Need a respond: In Oscar Wilde′s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, it shows examples of his view that ″we should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality″. An example of trivial things being taken seriously is Gwendolen and Cecily′s obsession with the name Earnest. They did not care for usually more important things such as a man′s personality, traits or looks. They only focused on a name. Gwendolen states ″The only really safe name is Earnest(786)″. On page 798, Cecily says ″It had always been a girls dream of mine to love somebody whose name is Earnest″. A name has no bearing on a human being themselves. An example of a serious event being taken trivially, is the apparent death of Jack′s brother ″Earnest″. The story of his death was pure fiction. The death of a human being- especially a relative is a serious matter. Jack made it to be a very little deal. To lie about something like that is in very bad taste. That is something very serious and should not be taken trivially. Jack and Algernon joked that ″Earnest″ could die from a ″severe chill- while in Paris″.  Example: 1. After reading your discussion post I thought your response was valid and used detailed Quotes from The importance of Being Ernest. In your post you had a good explanation between how the play The Importance of Being Earnest, connects and dramatizes Oscar Wilde′s quote. Your summary of this quote was similar to mine, which was we should treat insignificant things in life that we take for granted more serious, and all the serious things that seem overly significant with limited and well thought out triviality. We both also used the same concept of the name Ernest being valued more than their characteristics. 2. I really like your interpretation of Mr. Oscar′s quote saying that humans should take important things seriously and things that aren′t important with some care. Your example goes very well with Mr. Wilde′s quote ″we should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality″. the example that you highlighted in the story was  Gwendolen and Cecily′s obsession with the name Earnest.  and I do along with the fact that the characters didn′t look into earnest′s personality, traits and look. And you provided very good textual evidence that goes well to your claim. ″ the only safe name is Earnest.″ which Gwendolen said. and ″It had always been a girl′s dream of mine to love somebody whose name is earnest.″ what the reader can get out of this is that these two characters only focused on the little things (i.e. the name Earnest) and not the big things (personality, traits, looks)   Need for a respond: The Importance of Being Earnest dramatizes such a view from the quote above to the extent of the play being at the center of things not appearing what they seem to be in reality. Identity plays a key part in this play, how the characters reveal their baggage of true identities and secrets they each old. In the play, things may not need to be as serious as they are, this can be illustrated multiple times in the play.  This point of view can be shown how Jack also goes by another identity, Earnest. It can also be shown when Miss Prism reveals a life long secret of how she left a baby at a station who was to be Jack as a child. Which comes to be revealed that Jack actually is Earnest. Further supporting this could be when Jack speaks, “My dear fellow, there is nothing improbable about my explanation at all. In fact it’s perfectly ordinary. Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little boy, made me in his guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate, lives at my place in the country under the charge of admirable governess, Miss Prism.” Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Act I, Pg. 678. The following quote here illustrates how throughout the play the characters feel that things may not be as “trivial” as they may seem to be.  Example: 1. I liked the take you approached on your post. I personally believe that the quote was a hidden message, telling people to find themselves while they pretend to be someone they aren′t, as I also found this to be a main theme of the play; however, your explanation of how identity plays a role in how characters reveal their baggage of true identities and secrets they told represent the quote well. Jack does go by a different identity as a scape goat to be able to party in London and meet up with friends, which led him to reveal his true identity when the mishap happened with several woman thinking different men are Ernest, and exposing them in their lies. Also, I loved how you added the quote “My dear fellow, there is nothing improbable about my explanation at all. In fact it’s perfectly ordinary …″ as it followed your point perfectly. Your point gave me another view on this quote. 2. I really find your interpretation of Oscar Wilde′s quote interesting. In this comment, it seems that you decided to take a more personal look into the meaning behind the statement, addressing that the things that are trivial in life are different to each individual person. For characters such as Jack, revealing his true identity does not seem to be as important compared to characters such as Gwendolen. The quote you added in this comment further solidifies this point, by having Jack proclaim, “My dear fellow, there is nothing improbable about my explanation at all″, it allows readers to see that Jack′s perception on his origin is not as important and is trivial compared to other peoples view on their upbringing .