Essay on The Empowerment of Women in Trifles by Glaspell

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From the beginning the women of “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell do not seem to have a significant role in the play. These women appear to just be along for the ride while their husbands do the dirty work of searching through the crime scene. In the end even though they serve as secondary characters to their husbands, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters play a large role in portraying the theme of this play, and without them the plot would not have been conducted nearly the same way to get the message out to the audience.
As soon as the county attorney, the sheriff, his wife and Mr. and Mrs. Hale walk into the Wrights house there is a clear division of power between the men and the women. The men walked in with harsh faces ready to get the job
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The bread has been left out of the bread box, the kitchen table had not been cleaned, the quilt that she had been working on was unfinished and poorly stitched, and lastly the bird was missing from the cage. After further investigation the women come to the conclusion that there was something wrong going on in the Wright household that caused their house to be so chaotic.
Once the investigation starts one would think that the men would be the ones to solve the investigation, when in reality they are too caught up on the stereotypes of women during this time period and completely overlook the evidence as “trifles”. The men instead decide skip looking through the kitchen and instead to do the majority of their investigating in barn and the bedroom because during this time period these are places where men would feel dominant over women. After some deep thought Mrs. Hale’s comment “I wonder if she was goin’ to quilt it or just knot it?” (1416): finally makes sense. The women were not referring to the quilt, but were instead referring to Mrs. Wright hanging Mr. Wright. The men obviously were not very observant or well versed with quilting terminology otherwise they could have easily deciphered this phrase and known that the women had figured out the motive for the murder.
The theme of this play deals with the discrimination and poor treatment of women during this time period. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters
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