The Theme Of Justice In Trifles By Susan Glaspell

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“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell is a literary breakthrough. Thought by many to be the first piece of modern work advocating women 's rights, this play made a splash into the male dominated era of the early nineteenth century. Set on a farm after the murder of Mr. Wright, three male characters assign themselves with the position of investigators, while their two wives serve as mere gatherers for the convicted felon Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Peters, one of the women, deliberately challenges society 's social norms. With the surrounding males confining her to only domestic functions, Mrs. Peter not only questions yet takes on his male dominated role, providing justice for a fellow female. By leaving the theme of justice in the hands of Mrs. Peters, Glaspell …show more content…

Peters deals with throughout the play. Starting at the beginning the Sheriff invites his male compatriots to investigate, rather than his wife, who he assigns the position of gatherer. Instead of viewing Mrs. Peters as an asset he sees her more as a “pet” who is there to do the menial work, and in turn be quiet and unnoticeable, “ I suppose anything Mrs. Peters doesll be all right. She was to take in some clothes for her, you know, and a few little things. We left in such a hurry yesterday” (983). Even with something as serious as a murder lurking in the background the Sheriff can 't bring down his pride and ego enough to ask his wife for aid regarding serious work. Men were to assume the important roles while women were cast the lesser, non desirable tasks. The Sheriff and his investigators within Mrs. Wright 's home dismiss homemaking as a futile occupation, despite that being Mrs. Peter’s embodiment. Mrs. Peters is ridiculed by men for the exact function they force her to do. While in the presence of both his wife and Mrs. Peters, Mr. Hale puts down the domestic role females play, “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles” (982). Mr. Hale by stating this suggests that women only deal with the lesser important issues in social construct. In connecting that women “deal” with trifles Mr. Hale underhandedly suggests that women themselves …show more content…

Peters throughout her play to advocate that women should not only question male dominated roles yet overcome them. Mrs Peters despite facing suppression and belittlement emerges triumphant, casting away the roles and stereotypes that hold her back. Within Pearl Green’s “The Sociological Quarterly” Green states that in a work environment females must work at least 3 times harder than their male compatriots to even earn recognition, “most of the men are thinking most of her ideas won 't be any good because she is a woman,. She knows this and realizes that she must do three times a good job as they do” (Green 364). Similar to Mrs. Peters, the woman in this mid modern rendition faces challenges in overcoming male dominance. Both Glaspell and Green show that despite “titles’ set by men to hold them back, women like Mrs. Peters are fully capable of overcoming and overpowering men. Showing that women can outwork and overcome the hierarchy of men, Glaspell functions as a secular prophet projecting a future in which both genders can rid stereotypes like demeaning titles and emerge as

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how susan glaspell's "trifles" is a literary breakthrough, demonstrating how women had to work hard to protect each other from male dominated society.
  • Analyzes how glaspell's portrayal of the sheriff as the "ideal" male makes us question itative figure that the ideal male stood for.
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