What motivates the women’s actions? Did they hide the evidence for different reasons? Were they justified?

This essay should be a minimum of 750 words, written in MLA style, and must be submitted to its designated folder, located within the main “Essay Submission” folder on Eagle Online. (I will allow you to submit this essay late, but I will deduct 3 points per day it is late. After the essay is 7 days late, you may no longer submit the essay, and you will receive a 0 as a grade.) Your essay does not have to address all the questions a topic poses. Use the questions to help you narrow your focus. Choose one topic. No matter which topic you pick, all essays must contain: an introduction that introduces the work, author, your main focus, and ends with your specific thesis sentence; quotations from the work and explanations as to why that quote is important to your main idea; and a conclusion that sums up your essay and perhaps tells the readers what they can learn from this work. Try to make each individual sentence as interesting and readable as possible. Again, these topics are to get you started. You still need to narrow them down in order for your thesis to be manageable. 1. Pretend you are a juror deciding whether Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are guilty of withholding and tampering with evidence. The play Trifles is the main source of evidence you must use to decide the verdict. Write an essay giving and defending your verdict to the rest of the jury. Try to persuade the other members of the jury to go along with your decision. Within this essay you must do character analysis. What motivates the women’s actions? Did they hide the evidence for different reasons? Were they justified? Should they be punished? A sign of a strong argument is its ability to look at both sides of an issue, so you might also want to think about the fact that Glaspell wrote a short story version of this work called “A Jury of Her Peers.” This other title seems to imply that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale thought that they could best judge Mrs. Wright. Does this influence your decision as a juror? You will want to imagine that though the story takes place in the early part of the 20th century, you are judging them now. Except for the previous fact, you are responsible for setting up the other factors of the case (e.g. Mrs. Wright was found innocent or guilty because of the missing evidence). Please remember you are doing both literary analysis and providing an argument in this essay. 2. Look back at Trifles or “Everyday Use” and the different vocabulary the characters use. Both works set up contrasting groups of characters. In both works, these groups use words differently or associate different meanings for words. What kind of words have different meanings? What words have the exact same meaning and connotations for both sets of characters? Can you come to any conclusions about the characters from the answers to these questions? Compose an essay about the use of language and vocabulary by two opposing character groups and what this tells us about them. 3. Write an essay that compares and contrasts the way two characters from “Everyday Use” or Trifles perceive their environment. What about the environment does one character notice that the other character might not? Why does one character notice it when the other does not? How and why do the characters value one element of the setting while other elements seem ordinary and unworthy of notice? Remember that you are comparing and contrasting to help the reader learn an insight about character and theme.

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