One striking characteristic of the 20th century was the women's movement, which brought women to the forefront in a variety of societal arenas. As women won the right to vote, achieved reproductive freedom through birth control and legalized abortion, and gained access to education and employment, Western culture began to examine its long-held views about women. However, before the women’s movement of the 20th century, women’s roles were primarily of a domestic nature. Trifles by Susan Glaspell indicates that a man’s perspective is entirely different from a woman’s. The one-act play, Trifles, is a murder mystery which examines the lives of rural, middle-aged, married, women characters through gender relationships, power between the sexes, and …show more content…
The power of women is different than that of men. Women display a subtle and indirect kind of power, but can be resilient enough to impact the outside world. In Trifles, Susan Glaspell delivers the idea that gender and authority are chauvinistic issues that confirm male characters as the power holders, while the female characters are less significant and often weak. This insignificance and weakness indicated in the play by the fact that the women had the evidence to solve a murder, but the men just ignored the women as if they had no value to the case at all. This weakness and inability of the female to contest the man’s view are apparent. According to Ben-Zvi, “Women who kill evoke fear because they challenge societal constructs of femininity-passivity, restraint, and nurture; thus the rush to isolate and label the female offender, to cauterize the act” (141). This play presents women against men, Ms. Wright against her husband, the two women against their spouses and the other men. The male characters are logical, arrogant, and stupid while the women are sympathetic, loyal, and drawn to empathize with Mrs. Wright and forgive her crime. The play questions the extent to which one should maintain loyalty to others. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale try to withhold incriminating evidence against Mrs. Wright, and by challenging the reader to question whether …show more content…
The jar of preserves, the broken birdcage, and the re-stitched quilt pieces lead to the connection leading Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to the joint decision about guilt and innocence. Susan Glaspell illustrates how women can share experiences and become empowered. Most women value their lives as women and see themselves as man’s equal. The female characters pay attention to the more insignificant clues and quickly uncover Mrs. Wright’s motive for the murder. Supposedly based on a true murder story, Susan Glaspell's Trifles does more than just rework a tale of murder; it reveals the features of the society that produced the crime. The one-act play Trifles utilizes characters, dialogue, symbolism, language, and themes to present real-life problems that have faced nations for many years. The drama illustrates the issues of equality, male domination and the empowerment of women. The themes of gender differences and isolation shown through the ways the roles of men and women are viewed and by the male dominance over women. In contrast, it is the women who give legitimacy to the evidence, as they empathize with Mrs. Wright who, in their final assessment, may have flipped out as a result of ongoing domestic violence. Through the course of the play, the men fumble around in the dark, unaware of the incriminating evidence that surrounds them. The author blends
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In the 19th Century, women had different roles and treated differently compared to today’s women in American society. In the past, men expected women to carry out the duties of a homemaker, which consisted of cleaning and cooking. In earlier years, men did not allow women to have opinions or carry on a job outside of the household. As today’s societies, women leave the house to carry on jobs that allow them to speak their minds and carry on roles that men carried out in earlier years. In the 19th Century, men stereotyped women to be insignificant, not think with their minds about issues outside of the kitchen or home. In the play Trifles, written by Susan Glaspell, the writer portrays how women in earlier years have no rights and men treat women like dirt. Trifles is based on real life events of a murder that Susan Glaspell covered during her work as a newspaper reporter in Des Moines and the play is based off of Susan Glaspell’s earlier writing, “A Jury of Her Peers”. The play is about a wife of a farmer that appears to be cold and filled with silence. After many years of the husband treating the wife terrible, the farmer’s wife snaps and murders her husband. In addition, the play portrays how men and women may stick together in same sex roles in certain situations. The men in the play are busy looking for evidence of proof to show Mrs. Wright murdered her husband. As for the women in the play, they stick together by hiding evidence to prove Mrs. Wright murdered her husband. Although men felt they were smarter than women in the earlier days, the play describes how women are expected of too much in their roles, which could cause a woman to emotionally snap, but leads to women banding together to prove that women can be...
A work of literature often subtlety alludes to a situation in society that the author finds particularly significant. Susan Glaspell incorporates social commentary into her play Trifles. By doing so, she highlights the gender stratification that exists even in the most basic interactions and presents a way to use this social barrier to an acceptable end. Despite being written almost a century before present day, Glaspell’s findings and resulting solution are still valid in a modern context. Trifles demonstrates the roles of men and women in their everyday behaviour and interaction. The women use their ascribed positions to accomplish what the men cannot and have the ability to deliberately choose not to help the men with their newfound knowledge.
Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles, was written in 1916, reflects the author’s concern with stereotypical concepts of gender and sex roles of that time period. As the title of the play implies, the concerns of women are often considered to be nothing more than unimportant issues that have little or no value to the true work of society, which is being performed by men. The men who are in charge of investigating the crime are unable to solve the mystery through their supposed superior knowledge. Instead, two women are able decipher evidence that the men overlook because all of the clues are entrenched in household items that are familiar mainly to women during this era. Glaspell expertly uses gender characterization, setting, a great deal of symbolism and both dramatic and verbal irony, to expose social divisions created by strict gender roles, specifically, that women were limited to the household and that their contributions went disregarded and underappreciated.
In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles a man has been murdered by his wife, but the men of the town who are in charge of investigating the crime are unable solve the murder mystery through logic and standard criminal procedures. Instead, two women (Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters) who visit the home are able to read a series of clues that the men cannot see because all of the clues are embedded in domestic items that are specific to women. The play at first it seems to be about mystery, but it abruptly grows into a feminist perspective. The play Trifles written by Susan Glaspell can be considered a revolutionary writing in it its advocacy of the feminist movement.
"Trifles," a one-act play written by Susan Glaspell, is a cleverly written story about a murder and more importantly, it effectively describes the treatment of women during the early 1900s. In the opening scene, we learn a great deal of information about the people of the play and of their opinions. We know that there are five main characters, three men and two women. The weather outside is frighteningly cold, and yet the men enter the warm farmhouse first. The women stand together away from the men, which immediately puts the men against the women. Mrs. Hale?s and Mrs. Peters?s treatment from the men in the play is reflective of the beliefs of that time. These women, aware of the powerless slot that has been made for them, manage to use their power in a way that gives them an edge. This power enables them to succeed in protecting Minnie, the accused. "Trifles" not only tells a story, it shows the demeaning view the men have for the women, the women?s reaction to man?s prejudice, and the women?s defiance of their powerless position.
In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles Mr. Wright’s murder is never solved because the two women in the story unite against of the arrogance of men to hide evidence that would prove Mrs. Wright as the murderer. The play Trifles is about the death of farmer Mr. Wright and how the town sheriff and attorney try to find evidence that his wife Mrs. Wright killed him. As the play progresses the men’s wives who had come along were discovering important pieces of evidence that prove the men’s theory but chose to hide from them to illustrate the point that their ideas should have been valued and not something to be trifled. The very irony of the play comes from its title trifles and is defined as something that isn’t very important or has no relevance to the situation that it is presented to. In this play the irony of the title comes from the fact that the men find the women’s opinions on the case trifling even though the women solve the crime which ends up being the downfall of the men as they would have been able to prosecute Mrs. Wright if they had listened which made the women’s opinions not trifling. Glaspell was born in an age where women were still considered the property of men and they had no real value in society in the eyes of men except for procreation and motherhood. This attitude towards women was what inspired Glaspell to write the play Trifles and to illustrate the point that women’s attitudes should be just as valued as men’s and to let women have a sense of fulfillment in life and break the shackles that were holding them only as obedient housewives. Trifles was also inspired by a real murder trial that Glaspell had been covering when she was a reporter in the year 1900. Glaspell is a major symbol of the feminist movement of l...
Trifles is based on a murder in 1916 that Susan Glaspell covered while she was a journalist with the Des Moines Daily News after she graduated from college. At the end of the nineteenth century, the world of literature saw a large increase of female writers. Judith Fetterley believed that there was an extremely diverse and intriguing body of prose literature used during the nineteenth century by American women. The main idea of this type of literature was women and their lives. The reason all of the literature written by women at this time seems so depressing is due to the fact that they had a tendency to incorporate ideas from their own lives into their works. Glaspell's Trifles lives up to this form of literature, especially since it is based on an actual murder she covered. This play is another look at the murder trial through a woman's point of view.
Susan Glaspell's Trifles explores the classical male stereotype of women by declaring that women frequently worry about matters of little, or no importance. This stereotype makes the assumption that only males are concerned with important issues, issues that females would never discuss or confront. The characters spend the entirety of the play searching for clues to solve a murder case. Ironically, the female characters, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, uncover crucial evidence and solve the murder case, not the male characters. The men in the play, the Sheriff, County Attorney, and Hale, search the scene of the crime for evidence on their own, and mock the women's discussions. The women's interest in the quilt, broken bird cage door, and dead canary, all of which are assumed to be unimportant or trifling objects, is what consequentially leads to their solving of the crime. The women are able to discover who the killer is by paying attention to detail, and prove that the items which the men consider insignificant are important after all.
I. Article Summary: Suzy Clarkson Holstein's article, “Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell's 'Trifles'” evaluates the play Trifles and how the difference between the men in the play mirror how a woman's perspective is very different from a man's. Trifles is about two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who show up at a house with their husbands and the county attorney to investigate a murder. The entire time the men are looking for evidence to implicate the accused wife, Minnie Wright, of killing her husband. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are there to gather up some items to bring Minnie Wright in jail. While doing so, the women uncover evidence that would prove the wife is culpable but decide to hide it from the men in the last moments of the play. Trifles is evaluated on how the women are able to come up with the evidence unlike the men because they didn't approach it like a crime scene but rather a home, “By contrast, the women arrive at a home. Although neither they or the men realize it, they too are conducting an investigation” (Holstein 283). Holstein also notes they are able to find evidence because they use their own life experiences to relate to the accused murderer, Minnie Wright as shown here; “But the women do not simply remember and sympathize with Minnie. They identify with her, quite literally” (285). Holstein finishes the article by noting the women decide to hide the evidence because of the solidarity they feel towards Minnie Wright; “From Mrs. Hale's perspective, people are linked together through fragile, sometimes imperceptible strands. The tiny trifles of life –a neighbor's visit, a bird's song, the sewing of a quilt –have profound reverberations” (287).
In the play Trifles, Susan Glaspell brings together three women through a crime investigation in the late nineteenth century. Glaspell uses symbolism, contrast of sexes, and well-constructed characters to show that justice for all equally important to finding the truth.
Women have lived for generations being treated as nothing more than simple-minded creatures who were able to do little more than take care of their husbands and maintain a home, but that idea is dangerous. The years of abusing women by withholding their rights, belittling them, and keeping them in the home was sometimes detrimental to not only the female sex, but to the males sex as well. Susan Glaspell is the author of the short play “Trifle” , in which Mrs. Wright, the housewife of a local farmer, is being investigated for the murder of her husband. As a local county attorney, sheriff, and male neighbor scour the house for motive and proof that Mrs. Wright killed her husband, the men spend much of their time criticizing the housekeeping skills of Mrs. Wright and belittling every woman in the play for their simplicity. Their assumptions about the female sex, prevents them from seeing the crime scene for what it really was. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s wife, and Mrs. Hale, the neighbor man’s wife, are able to relate in many ways to the loneliness and loss of self that Mrs. Wright felt while spending her days alone tending to her home and husband.
In the play Trifles, written by Susan Glaspell, a small number of people are at the Wright house trying to figure out why and how Mr. Wright was murdered. Mrs. Wright is already the suspect, and all that is needed for the case is evidence for a motive. The jury needs something to show anger or sudden feeling so that they can convict her for murder. The men, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Peters, and Mr. Hale are there to find the evidence. The women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, are there to pick up a select few items for Mrs. Wright. While the men are going about business and looking for evidence to build a case against Mrs. Wright, the women are looking over what Mrs. Wright left behind and intuitively trying to understand what happened. They are also trying to fathom why Mrs. Wright would be compelled to perform such an act of violence. As the story goes on, it constructs each of the characters in slightly different means. Susan Glaspell presents Mr. Wright and Mrs. Hale as having contrasting and comparable characteristics. While Mrs. Hale and Mr. Wright differ in terms of emotions, they are similar in their cleanliness and are well respected by others.
Susan Glaspell's play, "Trifles", attempts to define one of the main behavioral differences between man and woman. For most of the story, the two genders are not only geographically separated, but also separated in thought processes and motive, so that the reader might readily make comparisons between the two genders. Glaspell not only verbally acknowledges this behavioral difference in the play, but also demonstrates it through the characters' actions and the turns of the plot. The timid and overlooked women who appear in the beginning of the play eventually become the delicate detectives who, discounted by the men, discover all of the clues that display a female to be the disillusioned murderer of her (not so dearly) departed husband. Meanwhile, the men in the play not only arrogantly overlook the "trifling" clues that the women find that point to the murderer, but also underestimate the murderer herself. "These were trifles to the men but in reality they told the story and only the women could see that (Erin Williams)". The women seem to be the insightful unsung heroes while the men remain outwardly in charge, but sadly ignorant.
Susan Glaspell’s Trifles (1916), is a play that accounts for imprisonment and loneliness of women in a patriarchal society. The plot has several instances where women issues are perceived to be mere trifles by their male counterparts. The title is of significant importance in supporting the main theme of the story and developing the plot that leads to the evidence of the mysterious murder. Trifles can be defined as things of less importance; in this story dramatic, verbal and situational irony is used to show how the insignificant trifles lead to a great deal of truth in a crime scene investigation. The title of the story “Trifles” is used ironically to shape the unexpected evidence discovered by women in
One woman’s Trifles is another man’s clues. The play Trifles, was written by Susan Glaspell based on the murder of John Hossack, which Susan reported on while working as a news journalist for Des Moines Daily News. Susan Glaspell was an American Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, actress, novelist, journalist, and founder of the Provincetown Players. She has written nine novels, fifteen plays, over fifty short stories, and one biography. At 21 she enrolled at Drake University even after the prevailing belief that college make women unfit for marriage. But many don’t know that her work was only published after the death of her husband George Cram Cook. Trifles is an example of a feminist drama. The play shows how male dominance was