Trifle by Susan Glaspell

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.
The men in the play are so blinded by their sexist ideas about females, that they miss the evidence of a motive to convict Mrs. Wright of murder. The men, after hearing the women discuss how Mrs. Wright was worried about her jarred fruit freezing, make several comments regarding the fact that this is something trivial that a woman would worry about even while being held for the possibility of murder. Mr. Hale makes the comment, “-Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.” (pp. 945) At one point Mrs. Hale mentions that the Wright home never seemed to be a cheerful place. ...

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...t allow her freedom and friendships and may have payed for it with his life. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, knowing and understanding the desperation and alienation that this housewife felt, found the proof of a motive for the murder, despite the taunting and teasing from the men who were suppose to be the ones looking for the evidence. The false ideas that these men had towards all of the females ended up hurting them and keeping them from the truth. Instead of the wives offering up the evidence that was discovered, they decided to hide it from the men to protect Mrs. Wright. The disparaging attitudes presented by the men may have seemed harmless at the time, but it kept them from the truth and it made the women feel like their idea would be disregarded. Ultimately, if you look deeper, this male dominant society was harmful to not only women, but to the men as well.
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