English 1020 A-01
11 November 2015
Feminist Theme in Trifles
Susan Glaspell was undeniably a feminist writer and this is mostly seen in her play Trifles. Feminist critics support women’s roles in literature and value their experiences. Feminist criticism is “the way in which literature reinforce or undermine the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women” (Tyson). The theory of feminist criticism is how our society is innately patriarchal and also struggles to reveal males biased writing of women. Several women rose to battle patriarchy society. The main roles of the society during these times were political, productive, social, and reproductive. Most women were given the reproductive role, which limited them to staying at home to raise children, take care of the house, and to take care of their husbands. Susan Glaspell, a writer during the early 1900’s, lived during this time. Milton Levin states that Susan Glaspell’s distinction “lies in her motivation to explore increasingly difficult and complex problems” (178). Most of Glaspell’s literature criticizes society’s view on women. This is seen in her play Trifles. Glaspell adds specific details to speak up for women. Glaspell highlights these details through the characters, roles of the characters, and theme.
There are two main female characters in Trifles, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters and there are three main male characters, George Henderson, Henry Peters, and Lewis Hale. Mrs. Peters is the sheriff’s wife. Mrs. Hale is Mrs. Wright’s neighbor and the wife of Mr. Hale who discovers Mr. Wright’s body. While all of the characters have an actual role in the play, Mr. and Mrs. Wright, who are the focus of the play, are only referred to ...
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... Wright at the end. She decides that her duty towards her sex is more important than the law, so she stays loyal to her sex.
Susan Glaspell conveys the feminist theme in Trifles with the characters, dialogue, and the roles of the women. Glaspell wanted the world to see men are not better than women in any way and that they can do a better job than men. The characters, dialogue, and role of women help paint a picture of Mrs. Wright’s life before she married John Wright and how she changed while married to John Wright. They also help paint a picture for the lives of all women who lived there lives oppressed by male dominance. The men in Trifles are shown as superior to their wives and believe the women’s concerns are childish and irrelevant. Glaspell creates a feminist glory with this play by describing the female characters in a witty way to win over male prejudice.
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