Quilt: Drama

VCCS Litonline Introduction to Literature
English 112 (English Composition II)

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Suggested Writing Assignments:

1. Write a thorough analysis of Glaspell's use of actions, props, costumes--visual elements (not dialogue)--in this play.  The object of this paper should be to explain how these elements (in addition to the dialogue) communicate important information to the audience.  In your paper, be sure to identify specific visual elements and explain exactly what it is that those elements communicate.

2. Trace the structure of the play through the dramatic questions raised. Identify the dominant dramatic question and indicate how other questions lead up to and reenforce that central issue.

3. Discuss the central conflict in the play. Identify the protagonist, his/her goal, the antagonist, and trace the protagonist's progress toward the play's climax and resolution.

4. Analyze the play's structure in terms of rising action, climax, resolution, and falling action.  NOTE:  The play is structured as it is in order to achieve some purpose.  Therefore, your paper should focus on how this particular structure achieves that purpose.  The purpose might be one of several things.  Perhaps the structure is designed to enhance suspense.   Perhaps it is designed to force the audience to questions the way it thinks about certain things.  Or perhaps it is designed to enhance the theme.  The point here is that you should not simply write a paper that says, "Here is the rising action, here is the climax, and here is the falling action."  You should write a paper that says, "Here is the rising action.  This segment of the play does THIS" (whatever you think it does).  Etc.

5. Go to either of the two movie sites contained in the drama web and discuss the extent to which the structural devices identified there apply to Trifles.

6. Identify the play's theme, as you understand it, and defend your interpretation.

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