Essay about Susan Glaspell 's ' Trifles '

Essay about Susan Glaspell 's ' Trifles '

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Susan Glaspell’s classic play, Trifles, recites the story of two simultaneous investigations of the murder of John Wright. The male characters consisting of Henry Peters, Lewis Hale, and George Henderson are conducting an official investigation whereas the women; Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are coordinating their own, more productive, investigation. Trifles, in an essence, is a murder mystery however, the play demonstrates a private, domestic, and female domain. Women were barely a part of the social role in the twentieth century. During this time they were thought only useful in the reproductive role that confined them to raising children and taking care of them as well as their household and husband. Therefore, Susan Glaspell being a writer during this time mostly produced pieces criticizing society’s restricting view of the roles women had in society. Her beliefs were greatly shown through a more famous piece of hers titled Trifles. Glaspell highlights her beliefs in Trifles through the details in the title, characters, setting, conflict, and theme.
First and foremost, the play’s title, Trifle, suggests that the play may consist of an insignificant theme or action, where in contrast the actual theme is far from that. The title typically helps the reader in foreshadowing what the play is about as well as reinforcing the author’s theme and understanding. The play touches on a major issue in the twentieth century, and portrays various accountants that show how women cannot and should not be over looked. The play begins with the wives of the sheriff and attorney coming along to pick up a few things to make Minnie Wright more comfortable in jail. However, the reader is shown a major turn of events when the women find evidence that l...


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...cted to cook, bake, do housework and take care of her kids and husband, and their identities are determined by their husbands. For example, the term the attorney uses, “a sheriff’s wife is married to the law,” (5). Shows that she is not an independent women but bound to what her husband is.
In conclusion, the way women were being treated throughout the twentieth century was much different then how they are treated today. The only reason anything changed was because people like Susan Glaspell decided to use what they do to make a difference and speak out against the crowd. She made a difference in the lives of everyone who watched this play. The play doesn’t directly attack men but simply shows the lives of women and how they were treated. Glaspell was able to use her characters, setting, conflicts, and theme in order to present what she wanted shared to the world.

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