Gender And Conflict : Susan Glaspell 's Trifles Essay

Gender And Conflict : Susan Glaspell 's Trifles Essay

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Throughout history, women have been portrayed as inferior creatures to their male counterparts. Men have displayed their superiority privately in the midst of a marriage and then more publicly being recognized as the “head of the house” making women feel lesser than men. This discrimination based on the sex of a person has oppressed women from all areas of the world. The theme of gender and conflict is revealed in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles which ultimately produces sexism and injustices based on gender.
The setting takes place at a farmhouse in the early twentieth century, and it is within this domain that a perfect environment for sexism is set up. At that moment, it was characteristic of normal folks to live on an independent farm. Usually, the farmers worked in the fields and the wives in the house among the chores and the youngsters. During this time, women were granted little to no rights. They did not have the right to vote, nor did they have a voice in government. At this point in history, the ladies of the land were for the most part confined to the home where they kept house and looked after children. Therefore, when the County Attorney proclaims the kitchen to be a “nice mess,” he insults one of the only jobs the women were able to have (Glaspell 598). Additionally, he announced that Mrs. Wright was “not much of a housekeeper,” which, in turn, stirred up some backlash from Mrs. Hale (Glaspell 598). As a result, the County Attorney proceeds to conclude and then tell Mrs. Hale that she must be “loyal to [her] sex” (Glaspell 598). Logically, in the course of this era, women had to depend on one another, and it is safe to say that in Trifles, "the two women move a little closer together" (Mael par. 13). The wome...


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...uled in the sense that the men regarded them as typical ladies, simply worrying about the little things and useless matters. The laws of that era handicapped the women because they were not taken seriously, and they were supposed to be submissive and go along with their husbands. They almost had to prove their innocence rather than someone proving their guilt which almost made them second-class citizens. With Trifles, the men already had preconceived ideas, and this caused them easily to overlook the things that the ladies picked up on because of their day-to-day lives. The men “[followed] a predetermined schedule of inquiry” while the women “put themselves into Minnie Wright’s place (Holstein 283). This just proves that a body should always pay attention to the little things, for sometimes the little things may make a huge impact on whatever the case may be.

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