The Changing Roles of Women in Susan Glaspell’s "Trifles" Essay

1994 Words 8 Pages
In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, the theme of contrasting roles between men and women is magnified by the setting of a lonely, Midwestern farm isolated from the public. This play demonstrates how different the roles between men and women were, and how women were treated. Trifles, also illustrates the changing times in the late 19th century to early 20th century. During this time period, women become more independent and wanted to be equal to men instead of inferior to them. Trifles, takes place in the late 1880s to early 1900s on a Midwestern farm in a small town. The play is about a woman named Minnie Wright who is a suspect in her husband’s murder. The police begin to search through the Wright home looking for evidence to …show more content…
Men were considered the “breadwinners” of the family, and they got all the respect. Their jobs were very physically demanding and extremely difficult. The men spent a majority of their time out working in the fields. They would plow the fields and harvest all the plants and crops. The men were responsible for raising the cattle, hogs and other farm animals. They also had to raise grains and hay for the winter so the animals would have food. Men had to go out hunting and bring home food for their families so they could eat. The men controlled all of the money in the house, including the money that the wife and children made. “In general, women and boys earned half to two-thirds of an adult man's wage, which, in 1930, ranged from around $1.50 a day in southern Illinois to around $2.20 a day in the wealthier prairie regions” (“The Changing Roles of Farm Women”). Women and children made substantially less than the men did, even though their jobs were just as demanding as the men’s. (“The Changing Roles of Farm Women”). The role for women on farms was much different and arguably harder than that of the men’s. Many women in the 19th century worked out in the fields with their husbands for a good portion of the day. On top of this they had to cook at least three large meals a day, take care of the children and perform many other tasks. “They cared for the sick and infirm, having primary responsibility for aging relatives” (“The Changing Roles of Farm