Trifles- Battle of the Sexes Essay

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The struggle between the male and female gender has long seen its differences throughout our American history. Prior to 1848, women did not have a voice or a valued opinion; they were simply thought of as unseen and unintelligent. It took nearly 72 years before the 19th amendment to our Constitution was signed into law, granting women the right to vote (Infoplease). During the early part of the twentieth century, the duties and structures of women’s lives would have predisposed them to approach a problem from a different angle than that of men and even today, despite the significant changes in women’s lives and opportunities since mid-century, women’s responsibilities and concerns tend to remain somewhat distinct from men’s (Holstein).…show more content…
Wright as a withdrawn woman married to a taciturn and stingy farmer, childless, nearly friendless and completely isolated on an Iowa farmstead. Almost every action of the farmwives in this play is designed to make Minnie’s presence felt, something that had been long lost (Noe). The concept of the “unseen woman” continues when Mrs. Hale rescues the surviving jar of Mrs. Wright’s cherry preserves, when both women gather clothes to take to jail and when Mrs. Hale begins to sit in the rocking chair; we feel as if that third woman is on stage (Noe). Mrs. Hale completes an action begun by Mrs. Wright when she takes out the sewing basket and finishes a badly sewn piece and later she finds the empty birdcage and silk-wrapped dead canary. These actions enable us to envision Mrs. Wright working in her kitchen on the d ay of the murder and reconstruct the events that precipitated it (Noe). The setting functions metonymically, standing for the unseen woman, who, in turn, represents the unseen American women of her day, relegated to the domestic sphere and excluded from positions of power (Noe). The absence of the woman who is central to these spaces de-familiarizes her; making her less hospitable to the characters that we do see (Noe). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters reflect this feeling of discomfort with their environment by the slow and hesitating way that they move about and talk in Mrs. Wright’s kitchen. Stage directions indicate that Mrs. Hale is “disturbed now and looks
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