Trifle By Susan Glaspell Essay

Essay on Trifles by Susan Glaspell

473 Words2 Pages

Trifles was written in the early 1900's by Susan Glaspell. This occurred far before the women's movement. Women were generally looked upon as possessions to their husbands. Their children, all wages, and belongings were property of their husbands. In Glaspell's story it is easily depicted as to what role the men and women portrayed in society at this time.

Glaspell proves her point by a conversation between two women in this story. The women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, are at the scene of the murder of John Wright. The women accompanied the County Attorney, the Sheriff, and Mr. Hale to the house. Mr. Hale describes everything that he saw the morning he discovered Mr. Wright's body. The men have come to the house looking for evidence to…show more content…

All the men notice is clutter. The men do not look deeper behind the meanings of this disarray. However, the women do. The women understand that the reason that things such as the towels are not clean is because she more than likely was busy doing her many other chores of the household. They also considered how much trouble Mrs. Wright went to fix the preserves. The women reason that the uncaring concern John had for Minnie and the attention he paid to the house perhaps forced Minnie to resort to killing. Even the County Attorney, Sheriff, and Mr. Hale could not understand all the difficulties women go through. They criticize Mrs. Wright as well as insult all women. Mr. Hale says, "Well, women are used to worrying over trifles." The actions of just these men show how women were taken for granted in this era. Inevitably, the men are unable to prove that Mrs. Wright murdered her husband but are going to convict her anyway. However, the women have solved the case. They come to the conclusion that Mrs. Wright was not treated very well by her husband and was not able to withstand the mistreatment anymore. They could tell the lack of attention he paid to his wife. The men still have a hard time accepting this concept because they do not believe that men treat women badly.

The title, Trifles, as well as the examples all represent how men view women. A "trifle" is something

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Trifles by Susan Glaspell

Susan Glaspell's Trifles explores male-female relationships through the murder investigation of the character of Mr. Wright. The play takes place in Wright's country farmhouse as the men of the play, the county attorney, the sheriff, and Mr. Hale, search for evidence as to the identity and, most importantly, the motive of the murderer. However, the men never find the clues that would lead them to solving this murder case. Instead, it is their female counterparts who discover the evidence needed, and who are able to do so because of their gender. The male investigators need to find, as Mrs. Peters puts it, "'a motive; something to show anger, or--sudden feeling'" (1329). Yet the men never see the…show more content…

Wright, a form of murder, which perplexes all when a gun was handy, is reminiscent of the strangling of that bird. It is another answer to the men's questions, but an answer they never find. The women, on the other hand, take note of all they see. They notice the bird, the cage, and the quilt but other things that the men call "trifles," like Minnie's frozen preserves and her request for her apron and shawl. These women are united; it seems, not only as country wives or as neighbors but also on the basic level of womanhood. This is apparent from the beginning of the play. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters "stand close together near the door," (1324) emotionally bonded throughout the play and, here, physically, in a way, too. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters also have a kinship to Minnie, just as to each other. They respect her work as a homemaker. Mrs. Hale quickly comes to Minnie's defense when her housekeeping skills are questioned, saying, "'There's a great deal of work to be done on a farm'" (1326). The women display their loyalty to each other and their sympathy for one another, too. Mrs. Peters can identify with the loneliness and sadness of losing something you love. She understands "'what stillness is,'" and Mrs. Hale knows "'how things can be--for women . . . [they] all go through the same things--it's just a different kind of the same thing'" (1333). These women are obviously united, and together they have a common enemy, as it were. The women’s foes, the

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