Essay Trifles

1771 Words May 17th, 2013 8 Pages
O’Neil 1
Becky O’Neil
Arquette
Eng. 112-01
December 6th, 2012 “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell During the 19th century, possibilities for women were severely restricted. Women were not allowed to vote, could not control their own finances, and were not able to work outside the home(unless widowed), any money or property they had was turned over to their husbands upon their marriage. Much of history is written from the male perspective. Women of that era were struggling with finding a sense of themselves and a certain freedom from the traditional gender roles society had dictated for them. Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” portrays these struggles through
Mrs. Wright, who is
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Wright’s preserves have frozen and burst, making a mess in the cupboard. When Mrs.
Peters points this out to Mrs. Hale, the sheriff, sarcastically says, “Well, can you beat the women? Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves.”(790) Mr. Hale replies to this comment with, “Well,women are used to worrying over trifles.”(790) To the men this may seem trifle, but the women know the work that goes into putting up preserves. The men take no consideration or thought to the work that goes into that task. Picking the fruit in the hot sun and the whole process of preserving them. They do, however, reap the benefits of the labor these women put into them. The County Attorney does have the presence of mind to ask Mrs. Hale how the Wright’s got along. She tells him, “I don’t think a place’d be any cheerfuller for John Wright being in it.”(790) I see this as foreshadowing of future discoveries by the women. The women find a birdcage with its hinges pulled apart, realizing someone had been rough with it. Putting the cage aside, the women decide to take the quilt Mrs. Wright had been work on to the jail for her; to help occupy her mind. While looking for Mrs. Wrights scissors, the women find something wrapped in silk, hidden in a box. It is the previous tenant of

O’Neil 3 the birdcage, a canary and it’s neck has been broken. When Mrs. Hale sees the bird, she tells
Mrs. Peters that

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