Trifles Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the Introduction, during what years did Susan Glaspell work as a reporter for the Des Moines News?

2. Who was accused of the murder of John Hossack?

3. Who played the role of George Henderson in the original production of Trifles?

4. Where did the trial for John Hossack’s murder take place?

5. For how many months did Susan Glaspell cover the John Hossack murder case?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the theme of gender roles defined in the plot of the play?

2. What does Mrs. Wright do when Mr. Hale attempts to make small talk?

3. How does Henry Peters begin the investigation after arriving at the Wright home? What does Mr. Henderson interrupt to ask?

4. How is the Wright property described?

5. Who does Mr. Hale call inside after Mrs. Wright tells him Mr. Wright is dead? What did they find?

6. Why does Mr. Hale stop at the Wrights' property the previous day?

7. What does Mr. Hale respond when questioned about how Mrs. Wright appears when he arrives the previous day?

8. How does Trifles reflect “local color” in its style and narrative?

9. What indicates the time period of the narrative?

10. What does Mrs. Wright tell Mr. Hale about who murdered her husband? Who has she notified of his death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze and discuss the character of Minnie Wright in comparison to Margaret Hossack. How, in the articles about the Hossack trial, was Margaret Hossack described? What was Margaret Hossack’s sentence? How does this relate to the play?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze and discuss the symbolism of the bird cage, the pretty box, and the dead canary. What is represented by each item? How do these symbols reflect the play’s themes? How do they help develop the tone of the story?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the relationship between Sheriff Peters and Mrs. Peters in comparison to the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Hale. What are the similarities? What are the differences?

(see the answer keys)

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