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). II. Article Evaluation: In Suzy Clarkson ... ... middle of paper ... ...n in the play; for example, “In the beginning, the women are silent from the powerlessness Belenky has described (23-24)” (284). This reference is the first time this new author is mentioned and Holstein doesn't explain really anything except that I need to go read Belenky to see the point that Holstein is trying to make in this article. Also, of the four references from different books, three of the books are fourteen or more years old and it seems Holstein is using out of date sources to make her points. For all of these reasons I didn't feel that Holstein's article gave clear insight to the points about Trifles she may have been trying to convey to the reader. Works Cited III. Article Citation: Holstein, Suzy Clarkson. “Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell’s ‘Trifles.’” Midwest Quarterly 44.3 (2003): 282-290. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 10 Apr. 2014
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The main idea showed in Trifles, the male character, and the empathy described by the females is why the author shows everyone that in every section of this play. Throughout the play, the women were being ignore and belittled by men. With their role, it is showing how back in the early 1900’s men were figured as gods. Women had to give all attention to the children, housekeeping and especially taking care of their spouse. Even though the women think very different as to what men use to think, they still maintain a close relationship in respecting the man 's job. According to Elke Brown, “ As a sheriff 's wife, she is married not only to Mr. Peters, the person but also to his profession”. The women are giving their world just so the men can be satisfied with the job they have and not cause any other problem other than their job. During the play, the men are only looking for hard concrete clues. They seem not to see the reality behind minor things. Mrs. Peters is directed by this belief until she remembers the stillness in her house after a child had died. This memory produces a dominant bond between her and Minnie 's experience of isolation and loneliness. The scene where exactly Mrs. Peters herself attempts to hide the box with the dead canary in it. She is well aware that this action that happens, which can apply to on the society and the way her husband wants the things done. Just because her husband stands
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...
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 today’s society, many women are powerful, independent, and for the most part treated equal to men, but before the 1920's women were restrained by the men. Imagine what being a woman in this era would be like. In Susan Glaspell’s play “Trifles,” she addresses the life of women in the 1900’s by examining the marital relationships among the characters, specifically between Mrs. Wright and Mr. Wright, the Sheriff and Mrs. Peters, and last Mr. Hale and Mrs. Hale. Glaspell accomplishes this by separating the husbands and wives into different rooms in the home of the Wrights, leaving the women all together in the living room and kitchen, which is where they find the crime scene evidence. The point being is that the men did not consider what the
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.
Susan Glaspell highlights the settings as theatrical metaphors for male dominated society in the early 20th century. “Trifles” begins with an investigation into the murder of Mr. Wright. The crime scene is taken at his farmhouse where clues are found that reveals Minnie Wright to be a suspect of murder. In the beginning of the play, it clearly embodies the problems of subordination of women. For example, there are two main characters in this play—Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who are brought along with the sheriff and attorney to find evidence for Mr. Wright’s murder. The men gather and work together at the stove and they talk with each other in familiarity while women “stand close together near the door behind men” (Glaspell 444). Perhaps the location of the women standing behind the men near the door reflects also their secondary or inferior social standing in the eyes of the men. Moreover, it seems that the wo...
"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.
The strong women characters in Trifles allow for feminist discussion, but also question the classic gender roles present at any point in time. Through the crime committed by Minnie Wright, three women grow together and establish that justice for all is deeper than finding the culprit. Justice occurs in all things, in hiding the clues by Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, in the quiet dignity they both have by helping their friend, and by proving that women are capable of anything they are determined to
Throughout “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, the setting, stage set, societal norms, and symbolism within the play all contribute to our understanding of the wife’s central conflict. With the guilt of killing her husband, Mrs. Wright develops an internal conflict within herself. This conflict is exacerbated throughout the play due to these factors.
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