As a strong feminist, Susan Glaspell wrote “Trifles” and then translated it to a story called “A Jury of Her Peers.” These works express Glaspell’s view of the way women were treated at the turn of the century. Even though Glaspell is an acclaimed feminist, her story does not contain the traditional feminist views of equal rights for both sexes.
The short story and the play written by Susan Glaspell are very much alike. The story takes place in an old country town in the early 1900’s. Mr. Hale has found his neighbor, John Wright, strangled upstairs in the Wrights’ house with Minnie Wright, John’s wife, sitting calmly downstairs. With John Wright dead and his wife in jail, Mr. Hale, the sheriff, their wives, and the county attorney all crowded in the Wright’s house to try to find clues about the murder. While the men go upstairs, they leave the women downstairs “…worrying over trifles.” (“A Jury of Her Peers” 264) Unbeknownst to the men, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find clue after clue that would convict Minnie Wright of the murder. Instead of telling the men about the clues, the women hide the clues and the men have no idea what the women have found. The clues are little things like a half cleaned kitchen, sewing that is messed up, and the sugar jar being left open. The clues the women find are very noticeable to them, but a man would over look them without thinking twice.
Feminists usually do not vary in the views that they have. The feminist wants equal rights for both sexes, and wants all women to be treated just like men. The short story and the play suggest something different. Within the story there are many instances that suggest that Susan Gla...
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Banner, Lois. Women in Modern America: A Brief History. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1974.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. Ed. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2000. 127-137.
Glaspell, Susan. "Trifles." Plays by Susan Glaspell. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc., 1920. Reprinted in Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia Eds. New York: Harper Collins Publisher, 1995.
Glaspell, Susan. "A Jury of Her Peers." Literature and the Writing Process. Eds. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk. 4th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice, 1996. 293-307.
Hewitt, Nancy. "Beyond the Search for Sisterhood: American Women's History in the 1980's."Social History. Vol. 10: No. 3 (1985): 299-321
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