Comparison essay -- Trifles and A Doll's House

1460 Words6 Pages
Desperate Times Call For Desperate Change
People are capable of doing crazy things! Nora, in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, loved her husband so much that she committed forgery just for the sake of his wellbeing. Susan Glaspell’s character in Trifles, Mrs. Wright, murders her husband after she discovers that he killed the one most precious thing to her, her pet bird. It was out of love that these women committed illegal crimes. Nora wanted her husband to be healthy because she loved him and knew that without his salary coming in, their home would fall apart. In contrast, Mrs. Wright wanted her husband dead. He was responsible for taking the life of the only company she had for many years. Mrs. Wright loved her pet bird more than she
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Wright so deeply that her whole view of right and wrong is distorted. Her decision to murder her husband in the name of her bird shows how corrupted her mind really is. Years and years of silent torture drove this woman to the brink of insanity. Her insanity symbolizes other women in that time that chose to stay in a loveless marriage rather than make a bold move like Nora did and go out into world on their own. Nora’s courageous choice empowered women to think for themselves, while Mrs. Wright’s choice revealed to them exactly how a loveless marriage can damage one’s mind to the point of no repair.
The reactions in Trifles reveal to the reader how heavily defined gender roles were in the early twentieth century. The two genders quickly form separate bonds with one another in this play. The men of this time dominate every aspect of this story. They make sarcastic jokes at the women when they start to show concern about things that appeared out of the norm in Mrs. Wright’s house. The first thing they noticed is the broken can goods when the Sheriff says, “Well, you can beat the women! Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves” (Glaspell 1245). This tone of voice reveals how the men did not take the women seriously. They laugh at the women’s idea of trifles but as Phyllis writes, it is “their attentiveness to the "trifles" in her life, the kitchen things considered insignificant by the men, the two women piece together, like patches in a quilt, the

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