Social Oppression Of Women In Trifles By Susan Glaspell

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The play Trifles written by Susan Glaspell takes place in the turn of the twentieth century in America when women were socially oppressed by men. The characters are introduced into the play as they enter into the unkempt house of John Wright, who had recently been murdered. In the play, there are three men: Sheriff Peters, County Attorney Henderson, and Hale, the man who discovered that John had been killed. Along with the three men, there were two women: Mrs. Peters, the wife of the Sheriff, and Mrs. Henderson, the wife of the county attorney. The three men were at the house to look for evidence to convict Minnie Wright, the wife of John, as the killer. The women were there to collect some of her belongings and bring them to her cell. The nineteenth amendment which gave women equal rights to men was not ratified until 1920, before the time the play was set in. This is clearly seen throughout the play by the way the women are spoken to and treated. The investigation that takes place illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole through two major themes: social oppression of women, and the blindness of men. The investigation of the murder not only enlightens some of the characters, but illuminates the meaning of the work; that women are not trifle. The mystery being investigated is introduced into the play by Hale’s recollection of the events of the day before. He was going towards town, when he decided to stop at the Wright’s house and talk to John. Hale walked into …show more content…
When in fact, those “trifles” are crucially important to the investigation. Ironically, it is the “trifles” that lead the women to uncover the evidence concerning the crime, while the men are unable to find a motive. The men arrogantly assume the women’s interests are “trifling” and unimportant, and their thoughts of superiority blind them from seeing the true value and importance of the

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