Essay about Susan Glaspell 's ' Trifles '

Essay about Susan Glaspell 's ' Trifles '

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“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell is a literary breakthrough. Thought by many to be the first piece of modern work advocating women 's rights, this play made a splash into the male dominated era of the early nineteenth century. Set on a farm after the murder of Mr. Wright, three male characters assign themselves with the position of investigators, while their two wives serve as mere gatherers for the convicted felon Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Peters, one of the women, deliberately challenges society 's social norms. With the surrounding males confining her to only domestic functions, Mrs. Peter not only questions yet takes on his male dominated role, providing justice for a fellow female. By leaving the theme of justice in the hands of Mrs. Peters, Glaspell demonstrates how women had to work hard to protect each other from a male dominated society.

PP Men within the play are shown to belittle and disrespect Mrs. Peters, among them being most prominent is her husband, the Sheriff. The Sheriff, though use of his might and power, is characterized by Glaspell to be the “ideal” male. By obtaining the power within his relationship with Mrs. Peters, the Sheriff is able to speak freely whenever he desires, “Well, can you beat the woman! Held for murder and worryin ' about her preserves.” (982). Glaspell here makes us question the authoritative figure that the ideal male stood for. The Sheriff, out of all men, is supposed to be the symbol of protection; he is tasked with giving aid to the needy. As a dominate male though the Sheriff obtains the power to verbally assault a woman within his own custody. Men are supposed to be the symbol of right and wrong, tasked with maintaining control, the Sheriff by being the embodiment of this ideal male sets an e...


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...her back. Within Pearl Green’s “The Sociological Quarterly” Green states that in a work environment females must work at least 3 times harder than their male compatriots to even earn recognition, “most of the men are thinking most of her ideas won 't be any good because she is a woman,. She knows this and realizes that she must do three times a good job as they do” (Green 364). Similar to Mrs. Peters, the woman in this mid modern rendition faces challenges in overcoming male dominance. Both Glaspell and Green show that despite “titles’ set by men to hold them back, women like Mrs. Peters are fully capable of overcoming and overpowering men. Showing that women can outwork and overcome the hierarchy of men, Glaspell functions as a secular prophet projecting a future in which both genders can rid stereotypes like demeaning titles and emerge as equals.



















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