Essay about "Trifles" and the American Experience

2918 WordsJun 2, 201312 Pages
“Trifles” and the American Experience Brian J. Moye English 202 Anne Marie Fowler April 15, 2013 “Trifles” and the American Experience Susan Glaspell’s one-act play “Trifles” was written in 1916. It was written based on real events. When Glaspell was a reporter, she covered a murder case in a small town in Iowa. Later, she wrote this short play which was inspired by her investigation and what she observed. Glaspell used irony, symbolism, and setting in her creation of the authentic American drama, “Trifles”, to express life for women in a male-dominated society in the early nineteen hundreds. Glaspell identifies the inferiority of women by using body language throughout this play. From the very beginning, they are in some…show more content…
At the end of the play the county attorney makes a sarcastic comment to Mr. Hale that at least they found out Mrs. Wright was not going to quilt it, and asked the ladies what they called it. Ms. Hale, holding the bird in her pocket, answered and told him that they called it – knot it (Glaspell, 2011). The title of the play “Trifles” is a major symbol of how men viewed women in the early nineteen hundreds, something small, and of little value or importance. One of the examples of trifles within the play is the bird in the cage which symbolized Mrs. Wright and the life not only she had to live, but other women faced during this time as well. Women, as well as Mrs. Wright, felt caged in her own homes, and some were not able to associate with their friends. Women had no right to vote, or have a say so as to anything except what went on inside the home as far as cleaning, cooking, sewing, and tending to their children. The stove fire symbolizes Mr. and Mrs. Wrights’ relationship. The fire had gone out of their relationship. The stove fire going out made the house freezing cold, and caused the jars of preserves she had worked so hard on, to crack and break. These jars represented the warm and caring life that Mrs. Wright longed for. When the house turned cold, as did her relationship, the jars would crack and break, just as Mrs. Wright’s emotions, leading her to murder her husband. All of the jars were
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