In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles a man has been murdered by his wife, but the men of the town who are in charge of investigating the crime are unable solve the murder mystery through logic and standard criminal procedures. Instead, two women (Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters) who visit the home are able to read a series of clues that the men cannot see because all of the clues are embedded in domestic items that are specific to women. The play at first it seems to be about mystery, but it abruptly grows into a feminist perspective. The play Trifles written by Susan Glaspell can be considered a revolutionary writing in it its advocacy of the feminist movement.
Trifles is one play that really shows the conflict between gender roles in the early 20th century. At the beginning of the 1900s the idea of everyone having equal rights didn’t exist. Men clearly dominated every aspect of life, while women were often left with little importance. The oppression of women during that time stretched to the point that they were not truly acknowledge as their own person. Their sole purpose was to take care of their families by keeping house and performing their caretaker duties. According to the essay “Literary Context in Plays: Susan Glaspell” by Bailey McDaniel claims that Glaspell’s work Trifles is considered an observation on the demeaning, insignificant characterization of women’s labor and their lives within domesticity (McDaniel). Susan Glaspell really tries to emphasize this feminist view throughout the entire play.
Susan Glaspell uses literary elements that show the readers the feminist theme in the play. The use of characters in this play really shows the feminist theme the most. Men in this play clearly demonstrates how men wer...
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The bird and the cage are the two most important symbol in this play because it symbolizes the oppression of Minnie Foster, and it can also mean the death of her husband (Mr. Wright). Minnie Foster is sometimes compared to the bird by Mrs. Hale saying that she was real sweet, pretty, and that she like to sing just like the bird, but then Mrs. Hale asks: “How she did change?”(1074). The bird symbolizes Minnie Foster before she got married, but everything changed about her after she got married with Mr. Wright. The reader can clearly see how abusive Mr. Wright was to Minnie Wright to completely change the way she is. For example, one way that Mr. Wright kept Minnie Foster oppressed is by preventing her from singing. As the reader knows Minnie really liked to sing, but Mr. Wright hated a “thing” that can sing ,as a result, he didn’t let Minnie to sing anymore.
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