Preeminent Inequality Of Women In Trifles, By Susan Glaspell

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Women in the 1900s were treated unequally by men, especially their husbands. More specifically, wives were expected to remain home and tend to household duties. The play, Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, highlights some of the preeminent inequalities between husbands and wives. According to the Merriam-Webster website, the definition of a “trifle” is, “something that does not have much value or importance.” Furthermore, the title allows us to infer that the play is going to deal with women being seen as frivolous and irrelevant. Trifles is about a wife, Minnie Wright, who is accused of murdering her husband, John Wright. Three men investigate the entire house, while two women investigate the kitchen. The inequalities between genders drives the conflict …show more content…
The Court Attorney, George Henderson, the Sheriff, Henry Peters, and a neighboring farmer, Lewis Hale, begin their investigation in the kitchen. While the men are in the kitchen, they criticize Mrs. Wright’s homemaking abilities. For example, George Henderson exclaims, “Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” (Kirszner and Mandell 1128). Mr. Henderson was being disrespectful towards Mrs. Wright and there’s nothing the women can do about it. In other words, the kitchen was seen as the women’s domain and the men were trespassing, yet the women couldn’t stop them. In “Glaspell’s Trifles” by Judith Kay Russell, the author exemplifies men acting superior to the women by stating, “The condescending manner in which the men joke about the women 's concern regarding Mrs. Wright 's intention "to quilt or just knot" the quilt evokes a defensive remark from Mrs. Hale…” (Russell 89). As a result, Mrs. Hale is unable to express herself until after the men exit the kitchen. Ultimately, women are forced to remain where they belong, in the kitchen, while the men get to go out and be …show more content…
The women sit, discuss, and make connections using the evidence left by Mrs. Wright. At the same time, the men are looking for evidence that could’ve been left by Mr. Wright. However, there is no evidence left by Mr. Wright so the men are basically chasing their tails around the house. Some of the evidence collected by the women includes a quilt, a sewing basket, and a dead songbird. In “Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell’s Trifles” by Suzy Clarkson Holstein, the author reveals that the women figure out the motive for the murder, which is the key piece the men are missing. Holstein confirms the women’s strategy for collecting evidence is efficient by stating, “…the details that allow them this insight-details overlooked as unimportant by the men- lead the women to understand the almost tangible oppression of Minnie Wright’s everyday life.” (Holstein 284). Therefore, it was no accident that the women were able to solve the murder of John Wright. It took a woman’s intuition to know what to look for. Had the men treated their wives as equals and valued their input, then the case would’ve been

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