The play ?Trifles?, by Susan Glaspell , is an examination of the different levels of early 1900?s mid-western farming society?s attitudes towards women and equality. The obvious theme in this story is men discounting women?s intelligence and their ability to play a man?s role, as detectives, in the story. A less apparent theme is the empathy the women in the plot find for each other. Looking at the play from this perspective we see a distinct set of characters, a plot, and a final act of sacrifice.
The three main characters, Mrs. Peters, the Sheriff?s wife, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Wright are all products of an oppressive society which denies them their right to think and speak freely, in the case of Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, and denies them their right to a happy, free life as in Mrs. Wright?s case. Throughout the play Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are able to find clues to the motive for the murder from their detailed knowledge of simple housewifery of which the men are ignorant. They also are forced to find an empathy for Mrs. Wright as they compare their own experiences to the clues they discover of her life. In the end this empathy causes them to make a decision which also casts them into the underdog?s lot of women fighting for their freedom in the early part of our century.
At the opening of the play we find the two women not taking a very active part in the play. In fact, they seem a little disconcerted to be on the scene of a murder, their only words as they stand by cold door on a cold night is ?I?m not ? cold.?(1170) The women do not start to take an active role in the story until the county attorney finds the broken preserves jars in the cabinets. ...
... middle of paper ...
... bird and hiding it from the men to save Mrs. Wright. The unity the ladies have found with each other and Mrs. Wright is stated by Mrs. Hale in the final line of the play. ?We call it ? knot it, Mr. Henderson.?(1179) This has a double meaning, one that the ladies were united by their common bond of living in a male controlled world, where men think women are only good for such activities as quilting and housework. Second, that the women are united by their common bond of fighting for each other. Her reference to knotting the quilt can also be construed as a reference to knotting Mr. Wright?s neck. This final retaliatory remark shows the determination of women in that era to fight for equal rights and sisterhood, no matter what the moral cost.
Glaspell, Susan. "Trifles" The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Bedford/St.Martins: Boston 2005.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Susan Glaspell’s short Trifles, Mrs. Wright is being accused of murdering her former husband Mr. Wright. While their house is being investigated, there are a lot of clues that suggest what could’ve happened between Mr. and Mrs. Wright. Susan Glaspell uses many literal techniques throughout the story to give readers a depiction of what’s going on. Glaspell uses irony, symbolism, and themes to distinguish Mrs. Wright’s role in the murder and her character in the story. Glaspell utilizes irony from the title to the story.... [tags: Susan Glaspell, Gender, Wife, Gender role]
1146 words (3.3 pages)
- Susan Glaspell provocative Play, "Trifles" offers a glimpse into the patriarchal culture and disillusionment of marriage as it acts as the catalyst for examination into personal identity, societal responsibility, and the irreverence that women faced in America at the turn of the 20th century. Based in 1916 this one act play includes elements of what the women 's suffrage movement was all about. Through nuances and subtlety in speech gender imbalances are revealed in the characters and give way to motive for murder.... [tags: Women's suffrage, Women's rights, Feminism]
1229 words (3.5 pages)
- The play "Trifles", by Susan Glaspell , is an examination of the points of view of the early 1900s against women and equality. The most noticeable theme in this story is men discrediting women's intelligence and their ability to do a man’s job, as detectives, in the story. A less noticeable theme is the sympathy the women in the plot find for each other. Examining the play from this viewpoint we see a diverse set of characters, a plot, and a final act of sacrifice. The three main characters, Mrs.... [tags: women, opression, equality]
754 words (2.2 pages)
- Susan Glaspell's Battle Against Sexism with Feminist Drama Susan Glaspell wrote in a time when women were supposed to be submissive to the men of the society, especially their husbands. She bucked the system and fought traditional gender roles with her plays, short stories and essays. Susan Glaspell was born in 1882 in Davenport, Iowa. She led a rather uneventful childhood. She attended Drake University in Des Moines where she received her Ph.D. in Philosophy. Before becoming an author, she was a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News.... [tags: Papers]
583 words (1.7 pages)
- In the play Trifles, written by Susan Glaspell, a small number of people are at the Wright house trying to figure out why and how Mr. Wright was murdered. Mrs. Wright is already the suspect, and all that is needed for the case is evidence for a motive. The jury needs something to show anger or sudden feeling so that they can convict her for murder. The men, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Peters, and Mr. Hale are there to find the evidence. The women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, are there to pick up a select few items for Mrs.... [tags: Susan Glaspell, Hale, Wright]
1069 words (3.1 pages)
- In Susan Glaspell’s short story, “Trifles”, the main character is a woman known by Mrs. Wright who “was” married to her husband around the early nineteenth century. The story starts by introducing the readers with the scene of the story which plays a big role in the story. The scene starts by informing the reader of the messy and unorganized kitchen. The play takes place in Mrs. Wright’s house with the Court Attorney, Hale and the Sheriff there as well. The reason the Court Attorney, Hale and the Sheriff were there, is to see Mrs.... [tags: Woman, Marriage, Wife, Susan Glaspell]
1391 words (4 pages)
- Trifles One woman’s Trifles is another man’s clues. The play Trifles, was written by Susan Glaspell based on the murder of John Hossack, which Susan reported on while working as a news journalist for Des Moines Daily News. Susan Glaspell was an American Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, actress, novelist, journalist, and founder of the Provincetown Players. She has written nine novels, fifteen plays, over fifty short stories, and one biography. At 21 she enrolled at Drake University even after the prevailing belief that college make women unfit for marriage.... [tags: Susan Glaspell, Gender, Trifles]
745 words (2.1 pages)
- One of the most important tools that an author uses to convey his message to the reader throughout the text is his language. It plays a vital role in setting the overall tone of the text and helps in foreshadowing with crumbs of symbols and imagery. This essay focuses on the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, first performed on August 8th, 1916. In order to understand the main idea of the play, it is important to understand details of the background of the author as it will help to illustrate a possible connection to the play.... [tags: Susan Glaspell, Gender, Woman, The Play]
1428 words (4.1 pages)
- Symbolism in Trifles by Susan Glaspell In today's society, we generally view upon everyone as equal beings who deserve equal rights. At the turn of the 20th century, this particular view didn?t exist. Men clearly dominated almost every aspect of life and women were often left with little importance. The Wright?s embody this view of roles in Susan Glaspell?s play Trifles. Mrs. Wright was a typical woman who suffered the mental abuse from her husband and was caged from life. In Trifles, a mixture of symbolism of oppression illustrates Mrs.... [tags: Sybolism Trifles Susan Glaspell Essays]
866 words (2.5 pages)
- Susan Glaspell's Trifles Susan Glaspell's Trifles explores the classical male stereotype of women by declaring that women frequently worry about matters of little, or no importance. This stereotype makes the assumption that only males are concerned with important issues, issues that females would never discuss or confront. The characters spend the entirety of the play searching for clues to solve a murder case. Ironically, the female characters, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, uncover crucial evidence and solve the murder case, not the male characters.... [tags: Susan Glaspell Trifles Essays]
1167 words (3.3 pages)