The Empowerment of Women in Trifles by Glaspell Essay

The Empowerment of Women in Trifles by Glaspell Essay

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From the beginning the women of “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell do not seem to have a significant role in the play. These women appear to just be along for the ride while their husbands do the dirty work of searching through the crime scene. In the end even though they serve as secondary characters to their husbands, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters play a large role in portraying the theme of this play, and without them the plot would not have been conducted nearly the same way to get the message out to the audience.
As soon as the county attorney, the sheriff, his wife and Mr. and Mrs. Hale walk into the Wrights house there is a clear division of power between the men and the women. The men walked in with harsh faces ready to get the job done, while the women plan on just sitting in the kitchen by the fire so that they can stay warm. The men surpass the kitchen on the way to the bedroom which is where Mr. Hale found Mr. Wrights dead body. The sheriff even made a comment saying: “Nothing here but kitchen things” (1414). While he was disrespectfully kicking around pots and pans and making comments criticizing Mrs. Wrights housekeeping sills. These remarks set the stage for the rest of the story and introduce to the readers the roles that women in society at this time were supposed to live by.
Coming into this investigation Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters have never met, but they quickly formed a bond and worked well together. Mrs. Hale has known Mrs. Wright since she was a young girl and she is able to tell Mrs. Peters more information about her. Mrs. Peters has never met Mrs. Wright but she feels that she can relate to her because she has lost a child just like Mrs. Wright who lost her canary, which was the closest thing the Wrights...


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...herself day after day, and was not able to speak her mind.
By the end of the play Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters found the dead canary in Mrs. Wright’s sewing kit. The canary had marks around its neck inferring that it had been strangled just like Mr. Wright, but they faced a dilemma on whether or not to turn in the evidence. In the end they decided to withhold the evidence from their husbands. By keeping this evidence from their husbands the two women chose to defend not only Mrs. Wright, but all women during this time period. They felt that the prejudices and discriminatory acts of men during this time period towards women were not acceptable. Men of this time belittled their wives and these women tried to challenge that philosophy. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale help show the audience what women in this time period had to endure in order to get back their freedom.

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