An Analysis Of Zora Neale Hurston's 'Trifles' By Susan Glaspell
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In a male dominated society, women were believed to be fragile weaklings that depended on men in order to survive and find happiness. In fact, they were seen as nothing more than selfless wives and mothers. The seemingly “perfect wife” then, was characterized by her dutifulness and obedient demeanor. This notion of male supremacy was undoubtedly the predominant basis of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rendered unable to voice their own opinions, women then turned to pen and paper as a way to communicate their thoughts. From this, arose the following pieces: Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour,” Emily Dickinson’s poem “She rose to His Requirement - dropt,” Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles, and Zora Neale Hurston’s novel…show more content… The story takes place during the harsh and relentless winter, serving as a key symbol since Mrs. Hale describes Mr. Wright as “a raw wind that gets to the bone” (Glaspell 19). In this sense, the desolate environment outside parallels the atmosphere inside the Wright’s home. The cold presence of her husband has confined Mrs. Wright and created a loneliness that was unbearable, leading her to eventually murder him.
While Glaspell communicates women’s view of marriage through significance of the canary and setting, Chopin makes use of the symbolism in Mrs. Mallard’s room door along with the front door of her home to illustrate the struggles that women during her time. After news of her husband’s death, Mrs. Mallard retreats back to her room, having no one accompany her. She resides there long enough that her sister, Josephine, must “implor[e] for admission” with “her lips to the keyhole” (Chopin 16). Josephine is convinced that grief has consumed her sister who was making herself ill. Although she does weep over the death of her husband, Mrs. Mallard “was drinking in a very elixir of life” (Chopin 16). The door that divides her and the rest of the characters represents a separation from her ordinary life and the life that she must keep private. Only behind this door does Mrs. Mallard feel safe to confide in her feelings, which was that of joy and a profound desire for a freedom that “would belong to her absolutely” (Chopin 16), without concern for what others will make