The Play Trifles By Susan Glaspell

Good Essays
What exactly does it mean to “stay in a woman's place”? This is a common phrase that has been tossed around by men for decades. You have to wonder what would the world be like if women never decided to step outside of this place that men confined them to. Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles hit the stage in 1916, a time where women didn’t even have the right to vote in this country because they were thought to not have the mental capacity to handle such a task. It was a trying time for women, which is what makes this play way ahead of its time. Women that stuck up to men and casted off male oppression was the theme and focal point of this play. In the early twentieth century, women were still very much subservient to men and Glaspell’s writing highlighted …show more content…
In this play, it wasn’t the men that stole the show; it was the women. Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Peters were the ones who decided to challenge the idea that women were not capable to not only outthink men but also escape the confinements of male oppression. The same women who were underestimated by the men were the same ones that outsmarted them in the end. In Trifles, the play starts with Mrs. Wright being accused with the murder of her husband Mr. Wright. The men in the play struggle to connect to clues to solve the murder of Mr. Wright but the women were the ones who collected evidence that showed that Mrs. Wright was actually the victim in this case. Although Mrs. Wright does not appear in the play, her character was a representation of all women that may have been oppressed or mistreated by men in one way or another. Mrs. Wright was tired of being mistreated and suppressed by her husband so she decided to take matters into her own hands which was not typical of women back then. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale also took matters into their own hands in their own way, the women who were once seen as a joke and considered to be not valuable to society were the same ones who ended up solving this murder mystery that the men were no where close to solving. Although they all played very different parts in the play, they all had one thing in common. They all rebelled against the men in some way shape or form; it was an act of women empowerment and escaping women’s

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Feminist Analysis of “Trifles” Set around the scene of a murder, Susan Glaspell’s twentieth century play “Trifles” is an early feminist drama that explores the gender roles set in place by society, especially in the time period written. The plot revolves around the case of a women, Mrs. Wright, who has killed her husband, John Wright. While male characters are trying to find motive behind the murder, it is actually their wives, who are belittled throughout the play, that solve the case but ultimately keep the truth to themselves. Although undermined and oppressed by the male characters and society, these women managed to solve the case while their male counterparts were unsuccessful. Feminist criticism is a literary approach that applies…

    • 1554 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Trifles, as Minnie was a powerful suspect on crime, people tried to find evidences, and this also shows anti-feminism. The people who looked for a proofs, in other words, so called, the significant people are all men. However, the people who came to take items to Minnie, in other words, so called, the insignificant people are all women. With all these, the people who actually found the signs were women. Men could not find anything.…

    • 956 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They were supposed to be loyal to their husband because they need them. In a conversation between Samoylenko and Von Korean in the Duel , Von Korean says, “...she should be sent back to her husband, and if her husband won’t have her, then give her over to hard labor or some sort of correctional facility”(65). Men had control or possession over women, so when they married them they were now their priority. Affairs were something that was dangerous for a woman to do, because other females saw it as sinful for the women to have an affair. Any affair that took take was the woman’s fault because the women seduced the man, which caused the affair.…

    • 1362 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Throughout the early 1900’s, women were viewed by society as inferior to men. Those of the female sex were expected to cook, clean, and only speak when spoken to. Susan Glaspell criticizes these concepts in one of the most well known forms of feminist literature, “A Jury of Her Peers”. The story’s central point focuses on the murder of John Wright committed by his wife Minnie as the Hales and the Peters investigate the crime scene. Despite the women finding valuable evidence substantiating the crime, their husbands viewed their discoveries as petty trifles that only women worry about.…

    • 1332 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She initially tried to go after Elizabeth Proctor to get her true love John Proctor. She felt manipulated and wanted the blame put on other people’s shoulders that she felt was targeting her. They abuse their power in the court convicting their critics. Not only should the girls be blamed for all the convictions, but so should society and the judges for being so gullible into believing the girls. Even at the end, Abigail and Mercy Lewis stole Parris’s money and fleeted, the judges knew they had been lying but also didn’t want to take the blame or lose their pride for killing so many people and standing on the girls side.…

    • 1032 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This suggest that lady Macbeth has done everything to help Macbeth murder king Duncan but however she doesn’t have the courage to kill king Duncan due the similarities he has to her father but if he didn’t she wouldn’t feel no remorse of killing him this shows her true nature and that lady Macbeth is person that wears ‘pants’ in the relationship as all these proof has shown that she controls Macbeth and has a big effect on his evil behaviour. In the first couple of scene Macbeth was more reliant on lady Macbeth and expected her to do the filthy work however throughout the acts we can see in act 5 scene 3 how Macbeth behaviour and changed to the guilty and doubtful man before the killing to the confident person he was after the killing of king Duncan. “Where got’st thou that goose look”. This show how bad-mannered and more talkative he became as he was crowned as the king of Scotland and he believes he has the power to insult People to get his pleasure and the way he describe his servant is atrocious also comparing him to animal such as goose it shows whatever the…

    • 1395 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Also the ways how females’ gender work in different societies. Susan Glaspell in her play “Trifles” points out the relationships between husbands and wives, principally a marriage that concluded in murder. Sheriff Peters, Mrs. Peters, Hale, Mrs. Hale and the County Attorney Henderson met together in the Wright’s farmhouse examining this case and trying to get some clues that could lead them to find the person that killed John Wright. Some circumstances such as the men dismissing women’s things as insignificant and how they laughed at women, lead the women to stand together. Both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters showed their support to Mrs. Wright, because the men were assuming that she was guilty for the fact that she walked away.…

    • 1922 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Trifles Gender Roles

    • 768 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Throughout the play, the women were consistently undermined and treated inferiority to the men during the investigation for being concerned with "trifles." However, in the end, they are the ones who ultimately solve the case. Mrs. Hale’s and Mrs. Peters’ “trifles” led to the evidence needed in order to solve the case. Because Glaspell’s play ends with the audience knowing that the women have found the evidence without the men, she exposes that false assumptions are often made about women like the “little things” they value and worry about, also known as “trifles.” Perhaps, Glaspell is trying to suggest that what has been stereotyped a “trifle” for most women might not always be irrelevant after…

    • 768 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Susan Glaspell's Analysis

    • 739 Words
    • 3 Pages

    This feministic classic entails a jury of female peer 's intervention with justice. Critics believe this Tale was based on a real murder trial in which female Jurors were not allowed to serve. This commentary on the surface, can be viewed as a simple detective story, but can unravel into deeper meaning. From the text, I derived that the Men in the story viewed their wives as weaker figures in the household, but this commentary showcases their power in numbers. The men in this story are unknowingly deceived by their wives, ultimately missing the clues to the murder.…

    • 739 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    All of these clues point to the “lifeless” life that Mrs. Wright had and how miserable it must had been to live with Mr. Wright. The ladies keep the information to their self and hide the box away from the men (Glaspell 743-752). The sin was murder and even though the women didn’t lie to the men about the discoveries that they found, they didn’t tell them about them either. The reason behind the act of murder committed by Mrs. Wright was so that she could have that sense of freedom that her canary bird represented for her before Mr. Wright killed it. The act of the women keeping valid information from their husbands and the authorities were to show their loyalty to women and to defy the corrupt world that they live in where men think less of women.…

    • 2471 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Decent Essays