Relationships in Trifles

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Susan Glaspell's play Trifles explores male-female relationships through the murder investigation of the character of Mr. Wright. It also talks about the stereotypes that women faced. The play takes place in Wright's country farmhouse as the men of the play, the county attorney, the sheriff, and Mr. Hale, search for evidence as to the identity and, most importantly, the motive of the murderer. The attorney, with the intensions of proving that Mrs. Wright choked the husband to death, was interviewing Mr. Hale on what he saw when he came in to the house. The women, on the other hand, were just there to get some clothing for the wife who was in jail for suspected murder of her husband. However, the clues which would lead them to the answer are never found by the men. Instead it is their female counterparts who discover the evidence needed, but they choose not to tell the men what they found since the man were degrading them the whole time. After searching the house several times, tow of the men choose to stop and they leave while the attorney stays behind to find any sort of clue that could convict Mrs. Wright of the murder. The women withhold all the evidence they find, therefore getting back at them men for all the stereotypical and degrading comments they said. Thus allowing the attorney to attempt to find his own evidence and ending the play. Gaspell's play represents the misjudgment and stereotypes the women faced and how they dealt with those issues.

The men's one-sided view of the women prevents them from finding the key evidence that they need. The male investigators need to find, as Mrs. Peters puts it, "'a motive; something to show anger, or--sudden feeling'" (357). Yet the men never see the uneven sewing on a q...

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...ey says, "But you know jury's when it comes to women" (1316). The county attorney is implying that no jury would ever think that a woman would be capable of actually killing a man, let alone come up with a scheme to kill him. The women were just stuck with the stereotype and they just had to go along with it. Women would not talk back to the men because of the fear of being thrashed at and even being hit by the men. That is why they just stood there and let the men say whatever they wanted to.

In conclusion, the men's prejudices about women causes them to have a weak case against Minnie. The women know this; they are smart, depicted as much smarter than the men. The men got punishment for their mistreatment of the women by not being able to find the evidence that would convict Minnie. They underestimated the women and in the end it was the women who came out on top.
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