Essay Research Paper
2 March 2001
John Minnie and Petie A Love Triangle:
Comedy and Tragedy in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles
The themes of love loss jealousy and betrayal have been told and retold in literature throughout the ages. What constitutes love has made us laugh or cry depending on the telling. In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles we learn that love can take a bizarre even nauseating twist. Through examination of the complexities that surround the relationship between John and Minnie Wright from their courtship to their marriage to Minnie’s miscarriages it is possible to discover that their love while strong at one time went in another direction after the appearance in the Wright household of Petie the interloper who stole Minnie’s affections. This theft was a key factor in the deaths of both John Wright and eventually Petie himself. A close study of the play reveals Glaspell’s skillful use of both comedy and tragedy to convey her theme that bestiality is never a good idea.