Essay on Feminist Themes of Susan Glaspell's Plays

1558 Words 7 Pages
Susan Glaspell was one of the first great American female playwrights. Her plays are often short, one or two acts, but they tell a story greater than just what appears on the page. Three of her plays, Trifles (1916), Women’s Honor (1918), and The Verge (1921), have feminist themes that show the consequences of the oppression of women, as is the case with many of her plays. All three plays were written during the first wave of feminism, during which there was a push for women to have jobs and opportunities and identities, ideas well represented in Glaspell’s plays. Glaspell’s plays show the struggle of being a woman during an era when women were trying to form their own identities. Through Glaspell’s use of feminist themes in Trifles, …show more content…
Susan Glaspell was one of the first great American female playwrights. Her plays are often short, one or two acts, but they tell a story greater than just what appears on the page. Three of her plays, Trifles (1916), Women’s Honor (1918), and The Verge (1921), have feminist themes that show the consequences of the oppression of women, as is the case with many of her plays. All three plays were written during the first wave of feminism, during which there was a push for women to have jobs and opportunities and identities, ideas well represented in Glaspell’s plays. Glaspell’s plays show the struggle of being a woman during an era when women were trying to form their own identities. Through Glaspell’s use of feminist themes in Trifles, Women’s Honor, and The Verge, the social changes that women experienced in early twentieth century are explored as the women of her plays discover who they are and what they believe outside of what the patriarchy has determined. Trifles centers around two women who are gathering belongings to bring back to Minnie Wright, who is in jail for murdering her husband. Their husbands look for evidence, not sure why Mrs. Wright murdered her husband, while Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale discover the true motive behind the murder. (Glaspell 36-45). A major theme of Trifles is the entrapment of women by men and the patriarchy. Mrs. Wright killed her husband because he killed the last piece of herself that she had left, her bird. Mrs. Hale can relate all
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