Susan Glaspell purposely hid the names of the female characters to symbolize that they don’t have an identity. Only the men receive a first name in Trifles, while the play refers to the women by their husbands' last names. The role that society has cast them in is one that is defined by their husbands. This shows how women were oppressed by not allowing them to have their own names unless they were called by their husband’s last name. Susan Glaspell gives good examples in how their marital status changes the female characters’s names. In the play Mrs. Hale says: “… I heard she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster…” (1972). The reader can see how the name changes according to her marital status, and how she was unhappy probably because she was being oppressed by her husband. In “The “Trifles” of Feminism” Christina McLure really makes a good point in that Mr. Wright always tried to
This murder is one that the two women can identify with. The reason is that both of the women were farmers' wives and had very similar lifestyles. Mrs. Hale describes John Wright as a hard man, and never let Mrs. Wright do anything. I feel that this is just how she is describing her own life perhaps. The two women also find a quilt that is not stitched very well. This adds to the fact Minnie Wright was under some stress when sewing this quilt. At this moment Mrs. Hale begins sewing the quilt, the way it should have been sewn in the first place. I feel that Glaspell is giving the women a lot of symbols to justify the women's findings, and making it easy for them to foil the investigation.
In the early 1900’s, both males and females were perceived as complete opposites of eachother. Women were considered physically weaker and morally superior to men. The gender roles during this time period were clearly demonstrated in the play “Trifles”, by Susan Glaspell. At a first glance it may seem like the play is only about the death of Mr. Wright. The play could simply be interpreted that the characters all work together to determine the murderer of Mr. Wright. The initial perception overlooks how the women were treated during this time period. The men conclude that the women are incapable of finding the murderer of Mr. Wright only because they are female. Similarly, Mr. Wright does not think twice about how poorly he treats his wife
Symbolism in Trifles by Susan Glaspell In today's society, we generally view upon everyone as equal beings who deserve equal rights. At the turn of the 20th century, this particular view didn?t exist. Men clearly dominated almost every aspect of life and women were often left with little importance. The Wright?s embody this view of roles in Susan Glaspell?s play Trifles. Mrs. Wright was a typical woman who suffered the mental abuse from her husband and was caged from life. In Trifles, a mixture of symbolism of oppression illustrates Mrs. Minnie Wright?s motives to kill her husband and to escape from imprisonment.
The Feminist Message in Susan Glaspell's Trifles Susan Glaspell's Trifles can be regarded as a work of feminist literature. The play depicts the life of a woman who has been suppressed, oppressed, and subjugated by a patronizing, patriarchal husband. Mrs. Wright is eventually driven to kill her "hard" (1178) husband who has stifled every last twitch of her identity. Trifles dramatizes the hypocrisy and ingrained discrimination of male-dominated society while simultaneously speaking to the dangers for women who succumb to such hierarchies. Because Mrs. Wright follows the role mapped by her husband and is directed by society's patriarchal expectations, her identity is lost somewhere along the way. However, Mrs. Hale and Mrs.
Glaspell proves her point by a conversation between two women in this story. The women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, are at the scene of the murder of John Wright. The women accompanied the County Attorney, the Sheriff, and Mr. Hale to the house. Mr. Hale describes everything that he saw the morning he discovered Mr. Wright's body. The men have come to the house looking for evidence to
Throughout the drama, Mrs. Wright and the canary share many similarities. For example, Mrs. Hale, the wife of Mr. Hale, describes that Mrs. Wright “was kind of like a bird herself—sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery” (185). Overall, the quotation describes Mrs. Wright as a gentle and submissive woman, the type of woman society expected her to be. In addition, although Mrs. Hale compares her to a bird in a favorable manner, she also defines Mrs. Wright as a woman that is fragile and uncappable of providing for herself, another social stereotype that women were subject to. Ultimately, however, the rigid social expectations for women served to reiterate their role in the home and to further confine them to the homestead itself, especially as society typically objectified and trivialized women, celebrating the conforming wife while condemning women to have their wings clipped by society’s standards. In this way, beyond her personality, Mrs. Wright becomes even more synonymous with the canary, an estranged creature confined behind bars as an aesthetic spectacle that is unable to sing an independent song.
Theonna Falu 11/03/2015 Enc1102 Dr. Campbell Between December 1st and 2nd 1900, John Hossack (a farmer from Warren County, Iowa) was murdered with an ax by his wife while in bed. Inspired by the true story of Margaret Hossack, an Indianola, Iowa farm wife who was charged with the murder of her husband John. One of the reporters, Susan Glaspell, decided to write a literary version of this investigation and “Trifles” came to be. Susan Glaspell is a feminist writer from Davenport, Iowa who started off writing for a newspaper called Des Moines Daily News. Later on her literary career she left the journalism industry and founded a theatrical organization called ‘Provincetown Players’ on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In Trifles, Glaspell covers issues regarding female oppression and patriarchal domination. Susan Glaspell’s one-act play still exists as a fascinating hybrid of murder mystery and social commentary on the oppression of women. When Margaret Hossack was charged with the murder of her sixty year old husband John, the man she had been married to for thirty three years, Indianola, Iowa. Killed by two blows to his head with an ax, John Hossack was thought to be a cold mannered and difficult man to be married to, but he didn’t deserve his death. In a cultural that denied women the right to vote or the ability to serve on juries, the community in which the Hossacks resided was not terribly different from the rest of the country. A women’s role was defined as more domestic than
An Analysis of Natures in Susan Glaspell's "Trifles" A trifle is something that has little value or importance, and there are many seeming "trifles" in Susan Glaspell's one-act play "Trifles." The irony is that these "trifles" carry more weight and significance than first seems to be the case. Just as Glaspell's play ultimately reveals a sympathetic nature in Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, the evidence that the men investigators fail to observe, because they are blind to the things that have importance to a woman, reveals the identity of the murderer and are, therefore, not really "trifles," after all. Thus, the title of the play has a double-meaning: it refers, satirically, to the way "trifling" way some men perceive women, and it also acts as an ironic gesture to the fact that women are not as "trifling" as these men make them out to be. This paper will analyze setting, characters, plot, stage directions, symbolism, themes and genre to show how Glaspell's "Trifles" is an ironic indictment not of a murderess but rather of the men who push women to such acts.
Susan Glaspell’s story “Trifles” is based on a true story many decades ago when women were treated as second class citizens. This story focuses on two women in the shadows of men who see their sex as superior and in doing so, miss the most important parts of their investigation. Glaspell uses space to show the bond that is slowly created between these two women that allow them to justify not reporting the evidence to the sexist males who essentially drop the ball because of their lack of empathy.
Susan Glaspell’s one act play “Trifles” is based on an actual murder court trial that she remembered covering from her days as a newspaper reporter in Iowa. She wrote at a time when women were supposed to be submissive to men and especially to their husbands. This play takes a look at a common social problem during the early 1900s when Americans wanted to keep all of their relationship problems private. Many married couples would do anything to keep their lives free from scandal, and this murder mystery examines the necessity of appearances and reputation of having the perfect marriage that was typical during that time. This was done to protect the married couple from being scorned by family, friends and community if their secrets were ever turned into a scandal. It is an incredible play that may be better understood by those who have experienced the same situation at some time in their lives. This play/production is a good definition/example of a problem play because it aims to draw attention to a /the social problem, such as of emotional abuse.
Susan Glaspell uses a variety of symbols in her play to demonstrate the stereotypical view and treatment of women by men during the start of the twentieth century. She intricately portrays the female characters in her story as intelligent, but passive due to the fact that males dismiss their ideas and conversations as unimportant. The play, Trifles, uses multiple symbols to show how men fail to recognize the intelligence of women, and oppress the feminists’ way of thinking throughout society.
The play Trifles is a world-famous production written by Susan Glaspell in 1916 during the women’s suffrage movement. The women’s suffrage movement was a point in U.S. history when rights for women, like voting and gender equality, were greatly stressed to be enforced. Glaspell’s involvement in the movement did not go unnoticed. Today Glaspell’s plays are famous worldwide for her feministic and socialistic views on legal reform, and involvement in the women’s suffrage movement. However, the play Trifles stands out amongst her others due to it being based on a true murder story she covered as a reporter. The play is about a man named Mr. Wright who is discovered by his neighbor, Mr. Hale, with rope around his neck murdered. Upon discovering Mr. wright, the county attorney and sheriff get involved, along with Mr. Hales wife, Mrs. Hale, and the sheriff’s wife, Mrs. Peters. Throughout the investigation at the Wright residence, the women are not asked for help, and are looked down upon by the men. While the men seldom ask the women for their opinion on the murder, the case unfolds right in front of the two wives’ eyes. Like the women in the play, Glaspell was unable to play a significant role in the murder case she was involved in, and her observations over small and minor details she thought may be of importance went unnoticed by the men. Throughout the play, Trifles, Glaspell symbolizes the conflict of men versus women seen during this period through recognition, the
“Trifles” is a one act play written by Susan Glaspell in 1916, which was first performed on August 8th by the Provincetown Players in Provincetown, Massachusetts at the Wharf Theater. The author, Susan Glaspell, was born on July 1, 1876 in Davenport, Iowa. Over her lifetime she had become proficient in many different professions: Playwright, Actress, Novelist, and Journalist. For her works, she won an American Pulitzer Prize in 1931. The Provincetown Players was founded by Susan Glaspell and her husband, George Cram Cook. This was the first modern American theater company. Most of her works centered on current issues at the time such at gender roles between males and females. Susan Glaspell was not the typical woman of her time, she decided to go to school and get herself an education and find herself a her own career instead of waiting around for a husband. In 1899, Glaspell graduated from Drake University in Iowa and found herself a job as a journalist for the Des Monies Daily newspaper. The play Trifles was based upon a story that Glaspell reported on when she was a journalist.
As we all know, women suffer a lot under men’s control in the early twentieth century. In the play, Mrs Wright is the best example to show the existence of oppression in women. The readers get to know the real reason why Mrs Wright murders Mr Wright. Before marrying John Wright, Minnie Foster was a cheerful and popular singer. Her life undergoes big changes after marrying John Wright. She is forced to live in John’s uncheerful and hollow farmhouse, managing households every day. She struggles and suffers alone as they are childless. This is portrayed through Mrs Hale and Mrs Peters conversations. “I stayed away because it weren’t cheerful. Maybe it’s down in a hollow and you don’t see the road.”John Wright has used to control Minnie Foster’s daily activities. She has no choice but keeping herself alone in the kitchen. Her decision to buy a canary to sing for her has made mad of the husband, John Wright. He killed the bird and the killing of bird oppressed Minnie Foster to murder her husband. The main cause of the tragedy is prominent through the theme of oppression of women. If John Wright treats her wife nicely, I am sure that the murder will not happen. With this, I think that Glaspell may like to emphasize that women often have the rights to be treated equally just as the