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Trifles Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Trifles College Essay Examples

Title: drama

Total Pages: 1 Words: 421 Sources: 0 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Trifles, Susan Glaspell, and Fences, August Wilson:

The above are the short stories and the authors:


Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Essay 3

Total Pages: 7 Words: 2355 References: 7 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: ?Trifles? by Susan Glaspell

For essay 3, your drama essay, you will need to find two secondary sources. You'll find these in our library's databases. They should be literary criticism and based directly on the play you have chosen to analyze. Submit your works cited page (the two sources you will use for your essay 3 plus the play itself) in MLA documentation style.

Short Writing: Research Process Step #2
For your drama essay, you'll need write a thesis statement that includes the writer's name, title of the play, the 3-4 literary elements you will use to analyze the play, and the theme of the play.

Essay 3 ? Drama/Research Essay 5-6 pages

Write an analysis of the theme of one of the play ?Trifles? by Susan Glaspell, using 3-4 essential elements of the play to discuss it (see list below). Some elements that you might consider: foreshadowing, soliloquy, stage business, unities, conflict, symbols, style, tone, setting, irony, imagistic language, the type or mode of drama/play, characters, deus ex machina, tragic recognition/flaw, epiphany, experimental nature, realism, etc. Not everyone will choose to discuss the same elements as it varies depending on which play you choose. You MUST use two or three outside sources from our library?s electronic database. Try JSTOR, Literature Online, or Gale Virtual Reference Library. Use only our library?s databases. Avoid Wikipedia,, blogs, study guides of any kind, or any other open sources. Depending on which play you choose, you may cite it differently. Please ask if you do not know how to correctly cite your play in MLA documentation.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Intro to English Lit one paragraph responses

Total Pages: 2 Words: 580 Works Cited: 2 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: ?Trifles? by Susan Glaspell

As you read a play, you should not only make mental or written notes but also raise some of the questions an actor might ask in preparing a role, or that a director might ask before choosing a cast: How should this line be spoken? What kind of person is this character, and what are his or her motives in each scene? What does the play imply or state about what made the character this way?family, environment, experience? Which characters are present or absent (onstage or off) in which scenes, and how do the characters onstage or off influence one another?
Besides trying to understand the characters, you should consider ways that the play could be produced, designed, staged, and acted. How might a set designer create a kitchen, drawing room, garden, woods, or other space for the actors to move in, and how many set changes are there in the play? What would the audience see through any windows or doors in an imaginary building? How would lighting give an impression of the time of day or season? Would sound effects or music be necessary (such as a gunshot, radio, or telephone)? What sort of costumes is specified in the stage directions, and how would costumes help express character types and their relationships, as well as the historical time period? What essential props must be provided for the actors to use, and what other props are optional? Would you, as ?director? of an imaginary performance, tell the actors to move in certain directions, together or apart; to express certain emotions and intentions; to speak in quiet, angry, sarcastic, or agonized tones?
As you read Susan Glaspell?s Trifles, below, keep these kinds of questions in mind. Try to create a mental image of the setting and of each character, and think about different ways the lines might be delivered and their effect on an audience?s response.
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SUSAN GLASPELL (1876?1948)
Though today remembered almost exclusively for her masterful Trifles (1916), Susan Glaspell wrote over a dozen plays, fifty short stories, nine novels, and a memoir, in addition to playing a key role in the development of twentieth-century American theater. Born in Davenport, Iowa, she graduated from Drake University in 1899 and spent two years at the Des Moines Daily News, where she covered the trial of a 57-year-old woman accused of murdering her sleeping husband with an axe. When Glaspell?s short stories began appearing in magazines, she returned to Davenport. There, she became involved with George Cram Cook, a former English professor, socialist, and married father of two. The two wed in 1913 and moved east, eventually settling in New York?s Greenwich Village and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where they founded the Provincetown Playhouse (later the Playwright?s Theater), an extraordinary gathering of freethinking, Left-leaning actors, directors, and playwrights that included Edna St. Vincent Millay and a then-unknown Eugene O?Neill. Between 1916 and 1922, this pioneering group reportedly staged more plays by women than any other contemporary theater; among them were eleven by Glaspell, ranging from realistic dramas such as Trifles and satirical comedies like Woman?s Honor (1918) to her expressionistic The Verge (1921). Widowed in 1924, Glaspell ended a brief second marriage in 1931, the same year that her last play, Alison?s House, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Having published her first novel in 1909 and multiple best sellers in the 1920s and ?30s, Glaspell spent the last years of her life writing fiction in Provincetown.

SHERIFF MRS. PETERS, Sheriff?s wife
SCENE: The kitchen in the now abandoned farmhouse of JOHN WRIGHT, a gloomy kitchen, and left without having been put in order?unwashed pans under the sink, a loaf of bread outside the bread-box, a dish-towel on the table?other signs of incompleted work. At the rear the outer door opens and the SHERIFF comes in followed by the COUNTY ATTORNEY and HALE. The SHERIFF and HALE are men in middle life, the COUNTY ATTORNEY is a young man; all are much bundled up and go at once to the stove. They are followed by the two women?the SHERIFF?S wife first; she is a slight wiry woman, a thin nervous face. MRS. HALE is larger and would ordinarily be called more comfortable looking, but she is disturbed now and looks fearfully about as she enters. The women have come in slowly, and stand close together near the door.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: [Rubbing his hands.] This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies.
MRS. PETERS: [After taking a step forward.] I?m not?cold.
SHERIFF: [Unbuttoning his overcoat and stepping away from the stove as if to mark the beginning of official business.] Now, Mr. Hale, before we move things about, you explain to Mr. Henderson just what you saw when you came here yesterday morning.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: By the way, has anything been moved? Are things just as you left them yesterday?
SHERIFF: [Looking about.] It?s just the same. When it dropped below zero last night I thought I?d better send Frank out this morning to make a SHERIFF: [Looking about.] It?s just the same. When it dropped below zero last night I thought I?d better send Frank out this morning to make a fire for us?no use getting pneumonia with a big case on, but I told him not to touch anything except the stove?and you know Frank.
p. 744

p. 745
COUNTY ATTORNEY: Somebody should have been left here yesterday.
SHERIFF: Oh?yesterday. When I had to send Frank to Morris Center for that man who went crazy?I want you to know I had my hands full yesterday. I knew you could get back from Omaha by today and as long as I went over everything here myself?
COUNTY ATTORNEY: Well, Mr. Hale, tell just what happened when you came here yesterday morning.
HALE: Harry and I had started to town with a load of potatoes. We came along the road from my place and as I got here I said, ?I?m going to see if I can?t get John Wright to go in with me on a party telephone.? I spoke to Wright about it once before and he put me off, saying folks talked too much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet?I guess you know about how much he talked himself; but I thought maybe if I went to the house and talked about it before his wife, though I said to Harry that I didn?t know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John?
COUNTY ATTORNEY: Let?s talk about that later, Mr. Hale. I do want to talk about that, but tell now just what happened when you got to the house.
HALE: I didn?t hear or see anything; I knocked at the door, and still it was all quiet inside. I knew they must be up, it was past eight o?clock. So I knocked again, and I thought I heard somebody say, ?Come in.? I wasn?t sure, I?m not sure yet, but I opened the door?this door [Indicating the door by which the two women are still standing.] and there in that rocker?[Pointing to it.] sat Mrs. Wright.
[They all look at the rocker.]
COUNTY ATTORNEY: What?was she doing?
HALE: She was rockin? back and forth. She had her apron in her hand and was kind of?pleating it.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: And how did she?look?
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.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: How did she seem to feel about your coming?
HALE: Why, I don?t think she minded?one way or other. She didn?t pay much attention. I said, ?How do, Mrs. Wright, it?s cold, ain?t it?? And she said, ?Is it???and went on kind of pleating at her apron. Well, 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. I guess you would call it a laugh. I thought of Harry and the team outside, so I said a little sharp: ?Can?t I see John?? ?No,? she says, kind o? dull like. ?Ain?t he home?? says I. ?Yes,? says she, ?he?s home.? ?Then why can?t I see him?? I asked her, out of patience. ? ?Cause he?s dead,? says she. ?Dead?? says I. She just nodded her head, not getting a bit excited, but rockin? back and forth. ?Why?where is he?? says I, not knowing what to say. She just pointed upstairs?like that. [Himself pointing to the room above.] I got up, with the idea of going up there. I walked from there to here?then I says, ?Why, what did he die of?? ?He died of a rope round his neck,? says she, and just went on pleatin? at her apron. Well, I went out and called Harry. I thought I might?need help. We went upstairs and there he was lyin??
COUNTY ATTORNEY: I think I?d rather have you go into that upstairs, where you can point it all out. Just go on now with the rest of the story.
HALE: Well, my first thought was to get that rope off. It looked . . . [Stops, his face twitches.] . . . but Harry, he went up to him, and he said, ?No, he?s dead all right, and we?d better not touch anything.? So we went back downstairs. She was still sitting that same way. ?Has anybody been notified?? I asked. ?No,? says she, unconcerned. ?Who did this, Mrs. Wright?? said Harry. He said it business-like?and she stopped pleatin? of her apron. ?I don?t know,? she says. ?You don?t know?? says Harry. ?No,? says she. ?Weren?t you sleepin? in the bed with him?? says Harry. ?Yes,? says she, ?but I was on the inside.? ?Somebody slipped a rope round his neck and strangled him and you didn?t wake up?? says Harry. ?I didn?t wake up,? she said after him. We must ?a looked as if we didn?t see how that could be, for after a minute she said, ?I sleep sound.? Harry was going to ask her more questions but I said maybe we ought to let her tell her story first to the coroner, or the sheriff, so Harry went fast as he could to Rivers? place, where there?s a telephone.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: And what did Mrs. Wright do when she knew that you had gone for the coroner?
HALE: She moved from that chair to this one over here [Pointing to a small chair in the corner.] and just sat there with her hands held together and looking down. I got a feeling that I ought to make some conversation, so I said I had come in to see if John wanted to put in a telephone, and at that she started to laugh, and then she stopped and looked at me?scared. [The COUNTY ATTORNEY, who has had his notebook out, makes a note.] I dunno, maybe it wasn?t scared. I wouldn?t like to say it was. Soon Harry got back, and then Dr. Lloyd came, and you, Mr. Peters, and so I guess that?s all I know that you don?t.
p. 746

(Mays 744-746)
Mays, Kelly J.. The Norton Introduction to Literature (Digital Portable Edition), 11th Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, 04/2014. VitalBook file.

After reading pp. 743-746 of ?Trifles? by Susan Glaspell, write a one-paragraph paraphrase of Hale's long section of dialogue on p. 746. It begins with "Well, my first thought was . . ." Remember, when you paraphrase, you want to keep the same intention and ideas, but put them into your own words.

JOHN UPDIKE (1932?2009)
A & P
The man The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature dubs ?perhaps America?s most versatile, prolific, and distinguished man of letters of the second half of the twentieth century? spent the early years of his life in Reading and rural Shillington, Pennsylvania. John Updike went on to study English literature at Harvard, where he also contributed cartoons and articles to the famous Lampoon. Marrying a Radcliffe fine-arts student in 1953, Updike the next year graduated summa cum laude and sold both his first poem and his first story to The New Yorker, whose staff he joined in 1955. Though he would continue to contribute essays, poems, and fiction to The New Yorker for the rest of his life, in 1957 Updike moved with his young family from Manhattan to rural Massachusetts. In the two years following the move, he published both his first book, a collection of poems (1958), and his first novel (1959). Updike went on to publish some 21 novels, 13 short-story collections, seven volumes of poetry (including Collected Poems, 1953?1993 [1993]), as well as seven collections of essays, a play, and a memoir. He is best known for the tetralogy tracing the life of high-school basketball star turned car salesman Harry C. Rabbit Angstrom. Begun with Rabbit, Run in 1960, the series of novels includes Rabbit Is Rich (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1990), both of which were awarded Pulitzer Prizes.

John Updike
A & P
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n walks these three girls in nothing but bathing suits. I?m in the third checkout slot, with my back to the door, so I don?t see them until they?re over by the bread. The one that caught my eye first was the one in the plaid green two-piece. She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs. I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not. I ring it up again and the customer starts giving me hell. She?s one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows, and I know it made her day to trip me up. She?d been watching cash registers for fifty years and probably never seen a mistake before.
p. 430

p. 431
By the time I got her feathers smoothed and her goodies into a bag?she gives me a little snort in passing, if she?d been born at the right time they would have burned her over in Salem?by the time I get her on her way the girls had circled around the bread and were coming back, without a pushcart, back my way along the counters, in the aisle between the checkouts and the Special bins. They didn?t even have shoes on. There was this chunky one, with the two-piece?it was bright green and the seams on the bra were still sharp and her belly was still pretty pale so I guessed she just got it (the suit)?there was this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces, the lips all bunched together under her nose, this one, and a tall one, with black hair that hadn?t quite frizzed right, and one of these sunburns right across under the eyes, and a chin that was too long?you know, the kind of girl other girls think is very ?striking? and ?attractive? but never quite makes it, as they very well know, which is why they like her so much?and then the third one, that wasn?t quite so tall. She was the queen. She kind of led them, the other two peeking around and making their shoulders round. She didn?t look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white prima-donna legs. She came down a little hard on her heels, as if she didn?t walk in her bare feet that much, putting down her heels and then letting the weight move along to her toes as if she was testing the floor with every step, putting a little deliberate extra action into it. You never know for sure how girls? minds work (do you really think it?s a mind in there or just a little buzz like a bee in a glass jar?) but you got the idea she had talked the other two into coming in here with her, and now she was showing them how to do it, walk slow and hold yourself straight.
She had on a kind of dirty-pink?beige maybe, I don?t know?bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down. They were off her shoulders looped loose around the cool tops of her arms, and I guess as a result the suit had slipped a little on her, so all around the top of the cloth there was this shining rim. If it hadn?t been there you wouldn?t have known there could have been anything whiter than those shoulders. With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light. I mean, it was more than pretty.
She had sort of oaky hair that the sun and salt had bleached, done up in a bun that was unravelling, and a kind of prim face. Walking into the A & P with your straps down, I suppose it?s the only kind of face you can have. She held her head so high her neck, coming up out of those white shoulders, looked kind of stretched, but I didn?t mind. The longer her neck was, the more of her there was.
5 She must have felt in the corner of her eye me and over my shoulder Stokesie in the second slot watching, but she didn?t tip. Not this queen. She kept her eyes moving across the racks, and stopped, and turned so slow it made my stomach rub the inside of my apron, and buzzed to the other two, who kind of huddled against her for relief, and then they all three of them went up the cat-and-dog-food-breakfast-cereal-macaroni-rice-raisins-seasonings-spreads-spaghetti-soft-drinks-crackers-and-cookies aisle. From the third slot I look straight up this aisle to the meat counter, and I watched them all the way. The fat one with the tan sort of
(Mays 429-431)
Mays, Kelly J.. The Norton Introduction to Literature (Digital Portable Edition), 11th Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, 04/2014. VitalBook file.

After reading ?A & P? by John Updike, pp. 429-435, write a one-paragraph summary of the story. Don't quote; just summarize the plot of the story.

[next to of course god america i]
?next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims? and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn?s early my
country ?tis of centuries come and go
5 and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
10 iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute??
He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water
?Except for the last line, this poem works much like a dramatic monologue. What can you discern about the situation in which the quoted words are spoken? about the speaker and his or her audience? about the poem?s attitude toward the speaker?

(Mays 496-497)
Mays, Kelly J.. The Norton Introduction to Literature (Digital Portable Edition), 11th Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, 04/2014. VitalBook file.

After reading, ?[next to of course god america i]? by e e cummings, p. 496, write a one-paragraph description of this poem. Be sure to refer to the readings on description (see above) to see what points you'll want to highlight before writing this paragraph.

Excerpt From Essay:

Essay Instructions: The Final Essay is the major assignment of the course. Susan Glaspell and Eugene O?Neill are credited with the creation of an authentic American drama. (McMichael & Leonard, 2011, p. 1708). Choose from The Hairy Ape or from Trifles and create a well-written essay arguing how the story or characters in the play are authentic to the American experience. What aspect of the American experience do they portray? You need only choose one aspect and argue it well with examples from the play. However, you should use multiple literary elements to support your argument.

This is a literary essay and must, above all else, examine the primary works discussed. Every insight you make should be an analysis of the primary works you are examining. Outside references should be used to support your thoughts and ideas.

The Final Essay must:
1. Be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style
2. Include a title page with the following:
o Title of paper
o Student?s name
o Course name and number
o Instructor?s name
o Due Date of Assignment
3. Begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
4. Include three literary elements to be used to support the main argument about the topic.
5. Address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
6. End with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
7. Use at least three literary resources
8. Document all sources in APA style

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