Susan Glaspell’s best known drama Trifles is a one act play concerning a murder investigation. This play takes place at the Wright’s farmhouse, while the characters draw clues pertaining to Mr. Wright’s death. As the men go about their business, it is the two women characters who discover the nature of the crime. A significant theme in Trifles is feminism, or women’s equity. The protagonist, Mrs. Hale, plays an important role in supporting the theme of feminism throughout this play. She is able to stand up for herself and other women, particularly Mrs. Wright, playing a major role in concealing the evidence of the crime. Mrs. Hale is a strong willed, empathetic woman whose character remains static throughout the entire play.
In Trifles, Susan Glaspell debates the roles between men and women during a period where a debate was not widely conducted. Glaspell wrote Trifles in the early 1900s—a time when feminism was just getting started. In this play, Glaspell shows us her perspective on the roles of men and women and how she believes the situation would play out. Trifles seems like another murder mystery on the surface, but the play has a much more profound meaning behind it. Glaspell presents the idea that men and women analyze situations differently, and how these situations are resolved based on how we interpret them. Research shows that women’s brains “may be optimized for combining analytical and intuitive thinking.” On the other hand, male brains are predominately “optimized for motor skills and actions” (Lewis). In the play, this research shows true when the women, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, analyze details rather than looking at the apparent, physical evidence, and they find out the motive of the murder. The men, on the other hand, look at broader evidence that does not lead to any substantial conclusion. When Glaspell was writing this play, she wanted the women to be the real instigators, the ones that would end up solving the mystery. While the men in the story laugh at the ‘trifles’ that women worry about, these details mean a great deal in Glaspell’s eyes. Glaspell presents the idea what men and women are different in the way they live their lives through detail.
In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles, written in 1916, two female characters are left in the kitchen of a house where a murder has been committed, while the menfolk search around for clues. The men largely ignore the women and are mocking of them and their petty concerns on the occasions that they do speak to them. While the men are about looking for the “cold hard facts” of the murder, the women are in the kitchen bothering with “trifles” that display all of the details about the wife’s life and, most probably, her motivation for the murder. In this play, Susan Glaspell has written male characters that clearly display the “Ethics of Justice”, a sort of right is right and wrong is wrong view; while the women clearly embody the “Ethics of Care”, a view that takes relationships and feelings into account when judging the morality of actions.
In Susan Glaspell’s, Trifles, originally starred at the Wharf Theatre in Provincetown, Massachusetts on August 8,1916. What makes this play unique is because the way it starts off as a mystery, for the most part all that’s known is there’s a man dead and Mrs. Wright pleads “her husband has been murdered while she was asleep (872)”. Moreover, this play has come to a surprise to people at the time because men where always portrayed as dominant figures or maybe would have expected a similar situation to this but opposite, with a
Susan Glaspell’s one-act play “Trifles” was written in 1916. It was written based on real events. When Glaspell was a reporter, she covered a murder case in a small town in Iowa. Later, she wrote this short play which was inspired by her investigation and what she observed. Glaspell used irony, symbolism, and setting in her creation of the authentic American drama, “Trifles”, to express life for women in a male-dominated society in the early nineteen hundreds.
Glaspell’s “Trifles” is a story about two women accompanying their husbands on a trip to the house of Mrs Wright, who is accused of murdering her husband. After the men head upstairs to look for evidence the women start talking and as they do they come across a beaten up bird cage and a pretty box. Within the box, the women find a dead bird. Its fragile neck had been snapped soon after, the women come to conclusion that Mrs Wright sought to get revenge on her husband for killing the bird and everything else he did to her.
In the Susan Glaspell’s play “Trifles”, written in 1916, the scene is located in a farmhouse with no presence of happy life. In “Trifles”, we will see how domineering the men are, and their views on women’s issues are very chauvinistic. The main characters in the play are George Henderson the county attorney, Henry Peters the sheriff, Lewis Hale a neighboring farmer, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peters and they return to this farmhouse to investigate the death of Mr. Wright. The events that will take place will show how a woman suffering from mental abuse goes over the edge with revenge that leads to murder. We will see some trifles that include a quilt with an odd stitching change, a birdcage with a broken cage door, and a dead canary with a broken
Susan Glaspell’s most memorable one-act play, Trifles (1916) was based on murder trial case that happened in the 1900’s. Glaspell worked as a reporter, where she appointed a report of a murder case. It was about a farmer, John Hossack who was killed while he was asleep in bed one night. His wife claimed that she was asleep next to him when the attack occurred. No one believed in her statement, she was arrested and was charged on first degree murder.
The play called Trifles wrote by Susan Glaspell takes place during the time when stereotypes were born. These stereotypes consisted of how males worked and handled official business, while females took care of the upkeep the home clean, and cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Sheriff Mr. Peters, his wife Mrs. Peters, Mr. Hale and his wife Mrs. Hale, and the County Attorney arrive at a crime scene, and this crime scene could be a potential murder of Mr. Wright. The government officials, which are the men, investigate the scene while the females keep to themselves and only spoke when spoken too. Since Mrs. Hale was a witness, the males asked her to describe what happened. Mrs. Hale explains how she was the
“Trifles” a short play written by Susan Glaspell (672-676), is a one-act play about Mrs. Wright who is currently in custody for the murder of her husband. The play takes place in Mr. and Mrs. Wrights home. The sheriff arrives with the county attorney along with Mrs. Peters the sheriff’s wife and Mrs. Hale they riffle thru the home looking for any evidence that might convict or release Mrs. Wright from charges of murder. The one act play is chucked full of symbolism I will attempt to locate, discus and enlighten you to the many wonders of “Trifles”. The symbols in the play represent a series of clues that the men cannot see because the clues are embedded in domestic items that are specific to women.
From the Initial introduction of characters in Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” we are presented with a distinct difference between the male and female characters of the play as a very clear line is drawn between their “masculine” and “feminine” qualities. The county attorney and the sheriff have arrived at the empty farmhouse that used to belong to John Wright to investigate his murder and look for evidence that his wife was the guilty party. Mr. Hale has come along with them to give his testimony, having found the now passed Mr. Wright the morning of his murder. All of the men are at the scene with important duties to perform, while the woman, the sheriff’s wife and Hale’s wife, are there to merely collect some small things for the jailed widow. The men immediately decide that there is nothing worth discovering in the kitchen when the woman begin discussing Mrs. Wrights worry for her preserved fruit. The men find this odd that she would care about such a little thing and Hale states “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles” It is in this moment that the title of the play is born.
The play Trifles takes place in the early 20th century, with gender roles definitively established. It represents little equality, with men assuming that they are far superior to their female counterparts. The men in the play disregard the women as just engaging in irrelevant matters, when in fact the women find themselves delving headlong into the investigation and stumbling upon the motive for the murder.
Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” is a short drama that plays out the events of a murder mystery concerning the death of John Wright. Two women, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter, along with a Sheriff and County Attorney inspect the cold empty farmhouse of the now deceased John Wright for any clues or evidence that can help them discover who the murder is. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters straighten out and organizes Mrs. Wright’s belongings in the kitchen only to discover evidence that implies Mrs. Wright murdered her husband. Although this play only contains one act, Glaspell manages to pack various symbols that touch on themes such as male oppression and drive the plot to its climax, Mrs. Hale’s and Mrs. Peters’ epiphany about Mrs. Wright. Various symbols throughout
One often anthologized work of early 20th century American literature is Susan Glaspell’s one-act play “Trifles.” Some see it as an example of early feminist drama, others the idea of the way small towns deal with issues like murder, still others the gender differences in both the interpretation and analysis of facts surrounding a mysterious crime. In general, the play is based on the murder of a Mr. Wright, and the title of the play comes from the critique from the men of the town, who berate the women for spending time “worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 918) rather than the case. Ironically, the women’s subjective notions about the case lead to a better understanding of the circumstances than the men’s cold and objective view of the facts of the case. In “Trifles” the conflict between the sexes can be based on one very important question, how are the perceptions of the men and the women different and from where does their internal bias arise?
Murder, torture, and mayhem are merely three of the unique problems that can be found throughout the one act play Trifles by Susan Glaspell. The writer opens up the story by explaining the situation of Mrs. Wright, a middle aged woman who is being accused of murdering her husband. The crime scene is a mess. A sheriff, the prosecuting attorney and their wives are looking in to the gruesome death that occurred upstairs in the Wright household. It is immediately found that the men focus their attention to the area around the body of Mr. Wright in search of evidence. However, it is the women begin to stumble across the clues that may lead to Mrs. Wright’s persecution. As more evidence is found we are lead to believe that Mrs. Wright did, in fact, kill her husband. By the end of the play the reader is still left wondering, why? Was it a case of self-defense, or is there something much deeper going on? Once a full understanding is reached, it becomes apparent that the only basis that should be used for dropping the charges of this case should be built on the notion of mental insanity. Mrs. Wright clearly demonstrates psychological tendencies that are symptomatic of Dissociative Disorders (Ben-Zvi, 145). With an evaluation of her past life, her behavior immediately after killing her husband, and evidence that is later found by the women, it becomes clear that Mrs. Wright was stricken with a Dissociative Disorder.