Susan Glaspell 's Trifles On The Battered Woman Syndrome Essay

1150 Words Sep 28th, 2016 5 Pages
When Susan Glaspell wrote Trifles in 1916, Dr. Lenore Walker had not yet coined the term “battered woman syndrome” in her book, The Battered Woman; the United States’ court records contained no precedent for the use of battered woman syndrome as a defense for murder (Rivers-Schutte 7). It is, however, a fair assumption to suggest that Mrs. Hale, had she been privy to the research and studies on battered woman syndrome, would believe that Mrs. Wright suffered from battered woman syndrome, and her potential role in the murder of her husband is defensible—justified even. While Glaspell’s short play did not give all the necessary information to judge Mrs. Wright’s guilt or innocence fairly, she did offer more than enough information to decide if Mrs. Hale was morally justified in withholding evidence from Sheriff Peters. In this essay, then, I will argue that Mrs. Hale was not morally justified in withholding potentially damning evidence from Sheriff Peters.
Based on the text, it is reasonable to infer that Mrs. Hale justified suppressing evidence due to feelings of personal guilt for not being there for Mrs. Wright in her time of need—which is not a valid reason to exonerate a potential murderer. After the woman discovered the canary, its neck broken and delicately placed into a decorative box, it becomes clear that Mrs. Wright may have indeed murdered her husband—the dead canary was the smoking gun in this case. Instead of revealing this discovery to Sheriff Peters, Mrs. Hale…

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