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Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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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. In "Trifles" Mrs. Minnie Wright lives with her husband on an isolated farm. While she once was a vivacious young girl who loved to sing, she now seldom sees her neighbors and is kept busy with her household chores. When her husband is found dead, Minnie Wright is put in jail and charged with his murder. Mr. Wright and his wife never actually appear in the performance. Instead, the story takes place in the kitchen of their
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