Trifles Analysis

Decent Essays

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.

Susan Glaspell

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