The play entitled “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspell, begins as a murder mystery that turns into a drama as the story unfolds. The story is focused on the investigation of a murder that took place in a farm house. The investigators, who are all men, are in the farm house looking for forensic evidence to help them solve the murder. The wives of two of the investigators are there to retrieve personal items for the wife of the victim. Mrs. Wright, who is the wife of the victim, is in jail as the primary suspect of her husband’s murder. When the story begins, all the characters are in the kitchen engaging in small talk. One of the investigators is criticizing the state of the kitchen by complaining that it is dirty and unorganized. The women, who are also house wives, empathize with Mrs. Wright and defend her kitchen by reminding the investigator that house work on a farm is not easy. Throughout the story, the men consistently make stereotypical statements against the women and Mrs. Wright. This paper will analyze male dominance and the effect it had on the female characters. More specifically it will examine how the female characters were forced to develop an intimate bond and how they formed an unspoken form of communication to combat the patriarchy displayed by the male characters.
In the 1960’s women roles were changing they were getting more involved in the American society. While working as a journalist Susan Glaspell reported a case of a murder which influenced her to write the play Trifles. In the play, Trifles the women are being presented as weak and powerless, a murder has been committed by Minnie Wright. There are a total of five characters in the play, three of them are men and the other two are females. The males are the county attorney, sheriff, and a neighbor farmer. The women are Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale. The men are searching for clues to convict Minnie of the crime, while the women find the most important pieces to the crime. In the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, the author demonstrates feminist stereotypes, representations of genders during the era when women had less power.
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
The power of women is different than that of men. Women display a subtle and indirect kind of power, but can be resilient enough to impact the outside world. In Trifles, Susan Glaspell delivers the idea that gender and authority are chauvinistic issues that confirm male characters as the power holders, while the female characters are less significant and often weak. This insignificance and weakness indicated in the play by the fact that the women had the evidence to solve a murder, but the men just ignored the women as if they had no value to the case at all. This weakness and inability of the female to contest the man’s view are apparent. According to Ben-Zvi, “Women who kill evoke fear because they challenge societal constructs of femininity-passivity, restraint, and nurture; thus the rush to isolate and label the female offender, to cauterize the act” (141). This play presents women against men, Ms. Wright against her husband, the two women against their spouses and the other men. The male characters are logical, arrogant, and stupid while the women are sympathetic, loyal, and drawn to empathize with Mrs. Wright and forgive her crime. The play questions the extent to which one should maintain loyalty to others. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale try to withhold incriminating evidence against Mrs. Wright, and by challenging the reader to question whether
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).
Throughout much of the Glass Menagerie there is symbolism. Weather the symbolism is in the name Blue roses, which Jim calls Lora, or the unique glass unicorn. The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, consists of a brother. sister, and a nagging mother. “In his drama, the Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams uses symbolism in order to develop multi-faceted characters and to display the recurring themes of the play. These various symbols appear throughout the entire piece, and they are usually disguised as objects or imagery” Within the story Williams hides many hidden meaning or symbols. Symbols are the used to represent an underline meaning, instead of come out and saying it. There are two main symbols that show up in the play; the glass menagerie, and the fire escape.
Semiotic can be defined as relating to signs or symbols. Symbols are a part of everyday life. People have objects that remind them of someone or something. Many people associate the symbol with the sign; for example, the symbol, a tractor, will be associated with the sign, the farmer. In other words, a person sees a tractor and automatically thinks of a farmer. Behind every symbol is a reasoning of why someone associates that object with that meaning. In “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell there are specific symbols and settings that relate to the play and give the play its major elements. One element that helps relate to the play is the setting of the play. “Trifles” is a very dark and gloomy setting which helps to give the idea of the tone of the play. Once analyzed well, the main three symbols
From the play “Trifles” written by Susan Glaspell I’ll be explaining the role of the women characters and how they were portrayed in the story. The play describes setting with homicide, mystery and dishonesty among its characters. It's a play that bases on stereotypes in relationships and attitudes between men and woman at this time in our history. The male characters play the powerful leader being for example, the sheriff, deputy and the attorney where the female characters Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale in a kind of seen but not heard role. Who were sent out to learn more about the details of the murder of Mr. Wright, who was found hanged in his bed.
Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a one-act play centered around a woman, Mrs. Wright, who allegedly murdered her husband, Mr. Wright, in the night. There are no witnesses of his death; only unofficial confessions and he-said she-said talk. Without viable evidence and information (and the absence of Mrs. Wright altogether), the play soon focuses on a group of people who gather at the Wrights’ home the day after the murder. These characters include a male sheriff, county attorney, and neighboring farmer and their two wives. It is their job to determine what truly happened to Mr. Wright and piece together any evidence that would enable the conviction of Mrs. Wright. It is with the plot, setting, and overall use of symbolism that Glaspell communicates her message and themes. These messages and themes, which are the glue to the play, allow the audience to understand how unhappy of a life Mrs. Wright lived and how men viewed women’s roles as unimportant.
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
In the play titled Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, Minnie Foster Wright is being accused of murdering her husband, John. In this production, Mrs. Wright is consistently referenced, and although she is not witnessed, she is very recognizable. There are important symbols in this play that signifies Mrs. Wright and her existence as it once was and as it currently exists to be. Particularly the canary, this symbolizes Mrs. Wright's long forgotten past. Additionally, the birdcage, this symbolizes her life as it currently exists. Certainly the quilt is a symbol, which is an important clue on how Mr. Wright was killed. In addition, the rocking chair, this symbolizes her life as it has diminished throughout the duration of her most recently survived years. Lastly, but not least, the containers of cherry preserves that seem to be a symbol of the warmth and compassion that she has yet to discover in her life. Every one of these symbolizes and characterizes Mrs. Wright?s character and her existence in the play.
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...
In Trifles, the play takes place at an abandon house at a farm where John Wright and his wife, Minnie Wright lived. John was killed with a rope around his neck while his wife was asleep. The neighbor, county attorney and sheriff came to the crime scene for investigation. Along with them came their wives, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters; they were told to grab some belongings for Mrs. Wright that she may need while she’s in custody. Once they all entered the home the men dismissed the kitchen finding it as unimportant. The three men focused more on legal regulations of the law. The play was mostly revolved around the women, discovering the motive through “trifles” and other symbolic things that had significance to Minnie’s guilt. When Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters understood the reason behind the murdering they hid the evidence from their husbands, and kept quiet. Many readers would visualize this play as a feminist point of view due to women’s bonding in discovering Minnie’s oppressive life after marriage. However Glaspell, provokes two ethical paradigms that have different perspectives of justice. Glaspell uses symbolism to characterize women’s method in a subjective way, by empowering themselves through silence, memories of her and their own lives as well as having empathy about her sit...
From the beginning the women of “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell do not seem to have a significant role in the play. These women appear to just be along for the ride while their husbands do the dirty work of searching through the crime scene. In the end even though they serve as secondary characters to their husbands, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters play a large role in portraying the theme of this play, and without them the plot would not have been conducted nearly the same way to get the message out to the audience.
I like this play quite a lot. It's got murder, mystery and deceit. It's interesting that the play bases a lot on stereotypes. The men are the sheriff, deputy and the attorney sent out to discover the details of the murder of a man found hanged in his bed. They look carefully in the bedroom and outside in the barn for clues and the women are sent in, I think initially, to gather some things for Mrs. Wright. The women are mocked at by the men. Worrying about things like jelly freezing and sewing. Mrs. Hale "Oh, her fruit; it did freeze. She worried about that when it turned so cold. She said the fire'd go out and her jars would break"; Hale "Well, women are used to worrying over trifles." They are not taken seriously. They are women and are not intelligent enough to understand the concept of solving a murder. The men forgot, it's the little things that bother people the most and for Mrs. Wright, it must have been death of her canary.