The Resilience Of Women In Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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Throughout the evolution of the modern-day woman, there have been endless instances in which women’s abilities have been belittled and underestimated. Yet, in these instances, women have overcome their circumstances and demonstrated the resilience of being a woman. Even though women have gained a substantial amount of social standing in the past century, there will always be those who view men as superior, more capable individuals. Susan Glaspell’s Trifles is a timeless feminist example of what can happen when women take a step out of the kitchen and into the world as those around them neglect to acknowledge the magnitude of a woman’s impact within society. In the play, Glaspell uses the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wright to show the unrealistic …show more content…
Peters, Mr. Hale, and their wives, it is evident that the two men underestimate the capability of women, as they flaunt their superiority through passive-aggressive insults. During the play, it is apparent that these two men are firm in their belief that they are better and more capable than their wives, but, unfortunately for them, they decide to disregard their wives’ potential. For instance, when the ladies are downstairs, they start to examine the quilt that Mrs. Wright is working on. In this moment, Mrs. Hale says to Mrs. Peters, “I wonder if she was goin’ to quilt it or just knot it?” (Glaspell 989). As the sheriff comes down the stairs and hears this statement, he laughs, and, says in a condescending tone, “They wonder if she was going to quilt it or just knot it!” (Glaspell 989). This statement causes the women to look abashed as it is used to directly harass the women, making them feel bad for worrying about something as silly as a quilt. Then, as Mr. Peters notices the women worrying about Mrs. Wright’s busted preserves, he states, “Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves” (Glaspell 985). Again, the men are teasing the women for concerning themselves with such a “womanly,” and, therefore, foolish thing. Then, even Mrs. Peters joins in and jokes about how the men think so little of them. When the ladies are discussing the significance of the bird, Mrs. Peters exclaims, “My, it’s a good thing the men couldn’t hear us. …show more content…
John Wright. Yet, as Mr. Henderson and Mr. Peters choose to ignore these symbols, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters use the men’s disregard to their advantage as they solve the murder case of John Wright. This disregard is displayed when Mr. Henderson asks the sheriff if there is any important evidence downstairs, to which he replies, “Nothing here but kitchen things” (Glaspell 985). Ironically, these so-called “kitchen things” are vital pieces of evidence that help the women, not the men, to solve Mr. Wright's murder. The first symbol, the frozen preserves, is found in the kitchen, busted and destroyed from the cold temperatures. When finding these preserves, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are sympathetic towards Mrs. Wright, as they understand the hard work that the it takes to maintain the temperature for the jars. However, the women understand that the preserves do not only represent Mrs. Wright’s hard work, but they also represent Mr. and Mrs. Wright’s cold and broken relationship. The next, and perhaps the most important, symbol is Mrs. Wright’s canary and its cage. As the ladies are examining the empty bird cage, Mrs. Peters notices that the hinge on the door is broken. Mrs. Hale tells her, “Looks as if someone must have been rough with it” (Glaspell 990). The emptiness and broken state of

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