Gender Issues In The Play Trifles

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Trifles Gender Issues

“[Trifles is] Glaspell’s best-known and most often produced play” (Levin 178). It was based in 1916, which was a well-known time period that upheld the ideals that a woman is meant to serve a man, and that women have no firm standing to do as they please (“The Woman Question Onstage” 53). This play is notorious for exposing gender issues; a woman is below a man and he has complete power to control her happiness. These issues were expressed when it was discovered that Mrs. Wright had been repressed and isolated by her husband, when the women are able to solve the murder using what the men consider to be trifles, and when the women discovered John Wright was not Mr. Wright after all.

Minnie Wright
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Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters were left in the kitchen in which the men had concluded were no clues to help infer the motive behind Mr. Wright’s death. Ironically, they thought the women would not be of any help, but they solved the murder while the men were unable to decipher the “trifles” (Makowsky 184). “[The] men discount such trifles as “kitchen things,” food, and housework” (“Feminisms: The Debate over Realism” 207). Things like her sewing and disarray in the kitchen enabled Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters to sense Minnie’s distress. They then noticed the birdcage and deciphered that John Wright had killed Mrs. Wright’s canary, and that this is what officially put Minnie over the edge (Glaspell 609). The women began to notice what the men ignored and eventually put the puzzle together (Levin 178). If the men had not discarded the women so quickly and assumed they were useless, they could have found the motive together and locked Minnie away for her crime. After the women solve the crime, they decide not to tell the men to keep themselves from being laughed at and out of sympathy to Mrs. Wright (Levin

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