Trifles and the Lost Generation

1816 Words8 Pages
The very origin of the term the “Lost Generation”, is lost. The true story floats somewhere in the memories of Earnest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and a French car garage owner, but there are two different versions of the story, both experienced by Stein and retold by Hemingway (Mellow 273). The phrase, the Lost Generation, is a unifying term that captures the simple themes of isolation and hopelessness, similar to the emotions society experienced in between the two world wars. However, only a limited number of works identify under this label. From this common feeling of misplacement, came only a small collection of writing known simply as the works of the Lost Generation. These works most notably include F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and a collection of novels by Hemingway, but many other notable works revolving themselves around post-war psychological tendencies were also written during this same time that are not included in this exclusive group. One of those works being the play, Trifles (1916), by Susan Glaspell. Although this play was written in the middle of World War I (1914-1918), Trifles exhibits lost qualities, especially for women. Trifles is an American murder mystery that depicts the efforts of a County Attorney, Sheriff Peters and wife, and neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Hale in solving the murder of John Wright. John is found strangled in his farmhouse at the beginning of the play, and the prime suspect is his wife, Minnie Wright. A closer look at Minnie Wright and her pre-marital self, Minnie Foster, will reveal the definitive factors of the Lost Generation. Instead of misplaced body or mind, the lost quality about this woman is her morality, as a result of male entrapment. Minnie, ... ... middle of paper ... ... same dark emotions of society during the period between the two world wars. Works Cited Al-Khalili, Raja. "Representations Of Rural Women In Susan Glaspell's Trifles." Studies In Literature & Language 6.1 (2013): 132-135. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. Gainor, J. Ellen. Susan Glaspell in Context. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004. Print. ———-. Stanton B. Garner, and Martin Puchner. "Trifles." The Norton Anthology of Drama. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2009. 475-86. Print. Makowsky, Veronica. Susan Glaspell's Century of American Women. New York City: Oxford University Press, 1993. Print. Mellow, James. Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein and Company. New York City: Henry Holt and Company, 1974. eBook. Monk, Craig. Writing the Lost Generation. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2008. Print.
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