Trifles Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Introduction

• In the Introduction, the editor provides an overview of the literary background and biographical influences for Susan Glaspell's one-act play, Trifles.

• Trifles is based on actual events that occurred in Iowa at the turn of the century.

• From 1899-1901, Glaspell worked as a reporter for the Des Moines News, where she covered the murder trial of a farmer's wife, Margaret Hossack, in Indianola, Iowa.

• Hossack was accused of killing her husband, John, by striking him twice in the head with an ax while he slept.

• Over the course of sixteen months, Glaspell wrote 26 articles covering the case, from the announcement of the murder to Hossack's conviction.

• Years later, Glaspell and her husband, George Cook, along with some friends, founded the Provincetown Players, an amateur theatrical company on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

• In need of a new play to end the season, Cook suggested Glaspell write a one-act for...

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