Written by Susan Glaspell in 1916, Trifles is a one-act play about a woman accused of strangling her husband. Based on an actual murder case reported by Glaspell for the Des Moines News, the play represented an early exploration of gender relationships in a time when women often were considered to be mere trifles. A groundbreaking feminist play, Trifles is often included in anthologies of drama and literature.
Inspired by events witnessed during her years as a court reporter in Iowa, Glaspell crafted a story in which two rural women deduce the details of a murder in which a housewife is accused of killing her husband. This nuanced tale revolves around the women's understanding the clues left amidst the "trifles" of the housewife's kitchen.
The facts are that a canary is dead, as is Mr. Foster. His wife, Minnie, is the prime suspect. Sheriff Peters can't crack the case, but two clever women can. Glaspell originally wrote the story as a play entitled Trifles in 1916.