Trifles By Susan Glaspell And A Dollhouse Essay

Trifles By Susan Glaspell And A Dollhouse Essay

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In “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell and “A Dollhouse” by Henrik Ibsen, the authors use symbolism to shed light on the way woman were once looked down upon by men. In both plays the woman face similar derisive attitudes from the men in their lives. Women are treated as property, looked down upon and only useful in matters pertaining to cooking, taking care of children, housework and sexual objects. The women’s marriages, socioeconomic and social status are completely different, but both women reach their emotional breaking point, and grow so discontent with their situations they are willing to take drastic actions.
In “A Dollhouse,” Nora is stuck in a marriage with a rich man who has no respect for her. Nora’s husband Torvald, does not think his wife or any other woman for that matter, can have intelligent thoughts simply because she is a woman (Mazur 17). In “Trifles,” Mrs. Wright faces a lonely existence with a dominating husband who doesn’t want to be disturbed by the outside world (Glaspell 713-725). Perhaps the most significant difference between two plays is how the female characters choose to deal with their sexist husbands. Nora simply grows dissatisfied with her marriage. The play ends with Nora finally realizing the situation she is in and she decides to leave Torvald and get on with her life (Isben 1021). In “Trifle”, Glaspell implies Mrs. Wright’s solution to her husband’s abuse and sexism is entirely different as she chooses to strangulate her mate (Glaspell 716).
The socioeconomic factors for Nora and Mrs. Wright are similar in they both face the same prevailing attitude of the day that says a woman’s life should center on domestic duties. Neither wives would ever be permitted to hold a job outside the home or pursue a ...


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...el in “A Dollhouse” while the male characters’ sexist views in “Trifles” seem to be more of a social view that women are not very smart and their opinions are of little value. This attitude is apparent in “Trifles” as Mr. Hale and Mr. Henderson’s comments about Mrs. Wright’s housekeeping (Mulry 293). As the women in both works reach their emotional breaking point, they grow so discontent with their situations they are willing to act to better their social standing.
Even with their similarities and differences, both works are reminders of how much our society’s attitudes and treatment of women has changed. Nora and Mrs. Wright’s marriages, socioeconomic and social status are vivid reminders of how poorly women were treated in western society. They also highlight mindsets that we must work daily to ensure they remain part of our past as we work to improve the future.

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