Trifles by Susan Glaspell

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According to the Merriam -Webster Online Dictionary an assumption is a belief that something is true or a fact or statement that is taken for granted. Susan Glaspell wrote "Trifles" to demonstrate the male assumption that women are insignificant members in a male dominated society. Because the men underestimate them, the women are able to prove they are not insignificant. The improper assumptions by men toward women can have dire consequences, as demonstrated in Glaspell's world. Combating these narcissistic assumptions displayed by men can result in a unity among women that can overcome any male caused disrespect and oppression.

The title of this drama "Trifles" demonstrates how men have the assumption that women and their respective actions are seemingly unimportant. Trifles can be used in two forms in the English language. In verb form, trifle means to treat someone or something as unimportant or non-essential. The word trifle in noun form means something of little value or importance. Both definitions of this word yield an idea in this story that women are seen as trivial and are not worthy of respect by men. This idea is conveyed throughout the entire story by the belittling assumptions and attitude the men use toward the women. For example Hale says, " Well, women are used to worrying over trifles" (1003). Typically, a kitchen represents women's work and the idea of domesticity. In Glaspell's eyes, men tend to assume that nothing of importance occurs in the kitchen and this can be related to the idea that women are insignificant. As Glaspell writes,

COUNTY ATTORNEY. I guess we'll go upstairs first – and then out to

the barn and around there. You're convinced that there was nothing

important here – nothing that would point to any motive?

SHERIFF. Nothing here but kitchen things.

COUNTY ATTORNEY. Here's a nice mess (1002).

This supports the idea that men see women and their respective actions as incompetent and trivial. Another way Glaspell demonstrates the assumption that men view women as insignificant is by conveying the men's attitude towards a woman's work.

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