Susan Glaspell 's `` Trifles `` Essay

Susan Glaspell 's `` Trifles `` Essay

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In any form of writing, various literary elements come together to compose a thorough and multifaceted work of literature. All the elements serve a distinct purpose; symbolism, for one, is imperative in a literary work because it aids the reader in the overall comprehension of the particular theme or multiple themes that a story is trying to convey. In Susan Glaspell 's, "Trifles," she meticulously incorporates significant symbols that help the reader recognize and construe the depth of the ambiguous significance of the jar of fruit preserves, quilt, bird, and the bird cage. Things are not always as insignificant as they appear to be, and Glaspell 's play is a prime example of how important it is to read between the lines.
A central theme in Glaspell 's play is gender obedience, displayed seemingly by Mrs. Wright. Because the focus of Mrs. Wright 's life, as a wife, revolved around maintaining fruit preserves, we can conclude that her primary concern for the state of the jar of preserves was more significant that the mere thought of frozen fruit. The jars of fruit preserves were Mrs. Wright 's escape and distraction; something she had control over and something she could call her own.
MRS. PETERS. [To the other woman]. Oh, her fruit; it did freeze. [To the County Attorney] She worried about that when it turned so cold. She said the fire’d go out and her jars would break.
SHERIFF. Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves.
COUNTY ATTORNEY. I guess before we’re through she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about.
HALE. Well, women are used to worrying over trifles. (1308)

The fact that the men refer to the fruit preserves as "trifles" shows how they bel...


... middle of paper ...


...ht to her husband 's murder. The fact that they agreed to withhold this very crucial piece of information from the men shows how Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters want to give Mrs. Wright the chance to be free and to not be held accountable for Mr. Wright 's death.
COUNTY ATTORNEY. Well, Henry, at least we found out that she was not going to quilt it. She was going to -- what is it you call it, ladies?
MRS. HALE. [Her hand against her pocket.] We call it -- knot it, Mr. Henderson. (1316)
Essentially, the women "knotted" away the evidence that held Mrs. Wright 's future.
In essence, these symbolic elements that are first thought to be irrelevant all add meaning to the themes of gender obedience, women empowerment, and domestic abuse all come together in Glaspell 's play to comprise of the multifaceted story of a murderer and her ever so compelling motive to kill.

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