Misogyny In Trifles

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Virginia Woolf once said,“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” These insightful words, of English modernist and feminist writer, seem a perfect summation of the enduring oppression and silencing of women in society. A paramount theme and notion present in fellow feminist playwright, Susan Glaspell’s Trifles. Glaspell’s 1916 one act play explores notions of gender, justice, and freedom; through her command of the English language and rhetoric. Notably, one of the principal ideas presented in Glaspell’s work is the concept of gender roles, moreover, the notion of institutional misogyny present in 20th century America. These said ideas are fleshed out through the characters of the play. The play opens with the introduction of five characters: Sheriff Peters, Hale, County Attorney…show more content…
The Sheriff, Attorney, and neighbour Mr. Hale look for evidence while the women Mrs. Peters and Hale are left to their own devices in the kitchen. Condescendingly, the men mock the women’s concerns over Mrs. Wright’s stored preserves, its stated: “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.” (Hale, act 1) It’s inferred that women- who care only of trifles, something of little or no importance, must be trifles themselves. Ironically, these said trifles: the quilt, preserves, a little bird- which will be discussed later, are what solves this mystery. A major concern expressed by all the characters is motive; why would Mrs. Wright kill her husband? While discussing the marriage and disposition of the victim, its stated: “Yes--good; he didn't drink, and kept his word as well as most, I guess, and paid his debts. But he was a hard man, Mrs. Peters. Just to pass the time of day with him. (Shivers.) Like a raw wind that gets to the bone.” (Mrs. Hale, act 1) Abuses, which have been hinted at all throughout the play are finally spoken of in these lines. Audiences find, that Mrs. Wright- “real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid” - would murder her
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