A Journey into Drama: An Analysis of Setting in Feminist Plays

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The treatment of women in the modern era has come quite far compared to recent history. This is shown in numerous works of art of the feminist age of fiction. In the three works: Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, the setting and the home in which the women are depicted in play a major connecting symbolic role within the feminist plays. The setting of a dilapidated or enclosed home is ever present in each of the four aforementioned plays, and each depict a symbol of the ownership, and enclosement of women in the late nineteenth century, and early twentieth century America. In the short play Trifles by Susan Glaspell, the setting in the…show more content…
The theme of feminine incompetence plays a role in the leading up to the final enclosement, and the concluding setting of the play. In the diary of the narrator, she writes of her large home as “A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate. I would say a haunted house.”(1684). The narrator’s husband John, a physician, believes that the narrator is not able to connect with society, and does not believe the narrator when she exclaims that she is sick. The ownership of the narrator is depicted heavily when she states “I lie here on this great immovable bed - it is nailed down.”(1688). The immovable, nailed down bed is symbolic for the ownership of this woman, as the bed is merely an appliance, and kept in one place, just as the narrator, for the entirety of its use. The narrator’s situation is also noted in other places in her room. The narrator states after she finds a woman in the wall paper in her room that “The faint figure behind seemed… just as if she wanted to get out.”(1689). This is symbolic for the woman’s own destiny. Just as the narrator is, the woman in the wallpaper is a possession, and is trapped in something that she cannot get out of. This connection to the woman is a blatant symbol for the enclosement of the narrator, and the notion that the narrator’s own husband does not trust her to live up with normal society. John, the husband, is also seen treating the narrator as a small child; “John
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