Repression of Women Exposed in Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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The Repression of Women Exposed in Trifles Susan Glaspell in Trifles explores the repression of women. Since the beginning of time, women have been looked down upon by men. They have been considered “dumb” and even a form of property. Being physically and emotionally abused by men, women in the early 1900’s struggled to break the mold formed by society. Even with the pain of bearing children, raising them, doing household and even farm chores, their efforts have never been truly appreciated. Mrs. Wright was “…real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid—and fluttery…” as Mrs. Hale, her neighbor, describes her (22). This would all soon change after her wedding day. With Mr. Wright’s insipid character and lack of patience of any joyous sound, Mrs. Wright’s spirit dwindled to nothing. It seems she spent hours at a time focusing on her quilts, preserves, and caring for the only life there was in the house, her canary. Even when Mr. Hale offered to get a party telephone, Mr. Wright responded, “…folks talk too much anyway…”(5). This silence he preferred also applied to his spouse. There were no hugs given out much less a smile. He failed to give her even the most minimal sing of appreciation much less the emotional warmth she hungered for. The coldness felt in the house as the sheriff and court attorney entered the house symbolized the same coldness brought about by Mr. Wright. For the house to be cold and gloomy and everything else outside the total opposite, was much more than just coincidence. It was as if when you entered the house a cadaver, cold and clammy, had embraced you in its arms. “ I don’t think a place’d be any cheerfuller for John Wright’s being in it”, Mrs. Hale told the court attorney (11). Mrs. Hale knew perfectly well what kind of personality Mr. Wright had, which is why she specified that she wished that she had gone to visit Mrs. Wright when only she was there. “There’s a great deal of work to be done on a farm”, says Mrs. Hale, yet they are seen as mere trifles because it is the women who take on these tasks. “The treatment of women in ‘Trifles’”, a web site that analyzes the demeanor of women throughout the play, states “ The women are betrayed as if they are second class citizens with nothing more important to think about, except to take care of the medial household chores like cooking, cleaning, and sewing.
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