Trifles is a contemporary drama by Susan Glaspell. The drama is about a murder that has been committed and the wives of the sheriff and farmer, who are named Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale. While the men are searching the house, the women are in the kitchen looking at what Mrs. Wright has been doing and eventually find out who killed John Wright. The men are looking at the women like they are crazy and don’t take the women seriously. Symbolism plays an important part in this story, especially concerning gender roles. In Trifles, many symbols represent the negative attitude that men have toward women during this age, such as the dirty towels, the birdcage, and the dead bird.
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.
In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles, Mrs. Wright plays a dramatic roll as a wife in a conflicted marriage. After the murder of Mr. Wright, Henry Wright the towns sheriff ,George Henderson the county attorney, and Mr. Hale a neighboring farmer gather at the house with Mrs.Peters, the sheriffs wife and Mrs. Hale. The guys are looking for evidence while the ladies are looking deeper into Mrs. Wright’s life. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find that Mrs. Wright is caged and trapped , Mr. Wright has taken the life out of Mrs. Wright, and the Wright’s marriage is very conflicted. Mrs. Wright is a woman who loved life and was happy until Mr. Wright ruined it all.
Trifles, Susan Glaspell’s play written in 1916, reveal concerns of women living in a male dominated society. Glaspell communicates the role that women were expected to play in late 19th century society and the harm that can come of it to women, as well as men. The feminist agenda of Trifles was made obvious, in order to portray the lives of all women who live oppressed under male domination. John and Minnie Wright are two main characters who are never seen; however provide the incident for the play. In this play women are against men, Minnie against her husband, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters against their husband’s, as well as men in general.
In the play titled Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, Minnie Foster Wright is being accused of murdering her husband, John. In this production, Mrs. Wright is consistently referenced, and although she is not witnessed, she is very recognizable. There are important symbols in this play that signifies Mrs. Wright and her existence as it once was and as it currently exists to be. Particularly the canary, this symbolizes Mrs. Wright's long forgotten past. Additionally, the birdcage, this symbolizes her life as it currently exists. Certainly the quilt is a symbol, which is an important clue on how Mr. Wright was killed. In addition, the rocking chair, this symbolizes her life as it has diminished throughout
Oppressive gender roles are expressed first through the title Trifles itself. By definition, a trifle is a thing of little value or importance. Whenever the women were talking about Mrs. Wright’s preserves, Hale laughs, “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 598). Using the word trifles as the title indicates that the play contains a shallow, meaningless theme or concept, but the truths found in the theme of the title are actually very far from insignificant. The trifles, although perceived by the men as trivial,
The title of the play Trifles is used as a symbol to describe the way that women are viewed in the eyes of men. At the time of the play, males viewed women as trifles. Trifles are described as items that are of little importance or significance (Wakefield). The title could also be used as a symbol to signify the importance of the so-called “trifles” that the women were studying during the murder investigation. It is quite ironic because the common items observed my the women were thought to be useless to the men, while after combining further information about the murder investigation, these items would have been key to solving the case. Although they help Mrs. Wright by hiding any items that could have
At the beginning of the short drama, “Trifles,” Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s wife, is painted as timid and submissive wife. She willingly submits herself to the responsibilities she has as a wife. As the play unfolds, Mrs. Peter’s submissiveness begins to diminish. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale work together to uncover the murder of Minnie Wright’s husband. When the women find the evidence, they refuse to share it with the men. Mrs. Peter’s character transforms into a more confident individual over the course of the play.
Trifles, written in the early 1900’s by Susan Glaspell, is a one-act play illustrating how women can overreact to their own emotions, allowing these emotions to cloud their judgment. This is shown by describing the feelings of two women who are willing to defend a suspect, blame the victim, and go so far as to hide evidence, to protect another woman from being charged with murdering her husband. Mrs. Wright is the suspect in the murder of her husband, who was strangled in his sleep, found with the rope still around his neck. The sheriff and an attorney are examining Mrs. Wrights home for evidence. Mr. Henderson, the attorney, speaking of Mrs. Wright says, “Here’s a nice mess, ..Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper,
Mr. Wright is not frightened by the consequences of his actions towards Mrs. Wright and her belongings. The County Attorney thoroughly examines the relationship between Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Hale. Mrs. Hale explains how she has “ . . . not seen much of [Mrs. Wright] of late years” (Glaspell 4) which reveals how isolated Mrs. Wright is. Mr. Wright does not think twice about keeping his wife secluded from everyone because he thinks Mrs. Wright is incompetent in expressing her feelings towards him. The dead canary is found by the women and they debate whether Mr. Wright was a factor in the death of the bird. Mrs. Hale replies to Mrs. Peters that “ . . . Wright wouldn’t like the bird--a thing that sang. [Mrs. Wright] used to sing. He killed that too” (Glaspell 9). Despite his wife’s feelings, Mr. Wright believes that he can get rid of anything to satisfy his happiness.
The play ?Trifles?, by Susan Glaspell , is an examination of the different levels of early 1900?s mid-western farming society?s attitudes towards women and equality. The obvious theme in this story is men discounting women?s intelligence and their ability to play a man?s role, as detectives, in the story. A less apparent theme is the empathy the women in the plot find for each other. Looking at the play from this perspective we see a distinct set of characters, a plot, and a final act of sacrifice.
The reactions in Trifles reveal to the reader how heavily defined gender roles were in the early twentieth century. The two genders quickly form separate bonds with one another in this play. The men of this time dominate every aspect of this story. They make sarcastic jokes at the women when they start to show concern about things that appeared out of the norm in Mrs. Wright’s house. The first thing they noticed is the broken can goods when the Sheriff says, “Well, you can beat the women! Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves” (Glaspell 1245). This tone of voice reveals how the men did not take the women seriously. They laugh at the women’s idea of trifles but as Phyllis writes, it is “their attentiveness to the "trifles" in her life, the kitchen things considered insignificant by the men, the two women piece together, like patches in a quilt, the
"Trifles," a one-act play written by Susan Glaspell, is a cleverly written story about a murder and more importantly, it effectively describes the treatment of women during the early 1900s. In the opening scene, we learn a great deal of information about the people of the play and of their opinions. We know that there are five main characters, three men and two women. The weather outside is frighteningly cold, and yet the men enter the warm farmhouse first. The women stand together away from the men, which immediately puts the men against the women. Mrs. Hale?s and Mrs. Peters?s treatment from the men in the play is reflective of the beliefs of that time. These women, aware of
The play written by Susan Glaspell in 1916 is based on the murder of John Wright where the prime suspect is his spouse; Minnie Foster. “Trifles” is fixated on the investigation of the social division realized by the strict gender roles that enable the two men and women to have contending points of view on practically every issue. This is found in the way the men view the kitchen as they consider it as not having anything of significant worth. From the earliest starting point, the two women and men possess distinctive positions. For instance, the women are unimportant guests to Minnie Foster's home while the men have desired authority obligation.
“Trifles” a play by Susan Glaspell, emphasizes the thought that women were kept in their homes and their contributions to the home and family went unappreciated and unnoticed. The play gives readers a view of how women were view and treated during the 1900’s. As a female analyzing the play, Mrs. Wright’s motive for killing Mr. Wright was quite clear. Susan Glaspell gives her readers a feminist approach, to demonstrate how Mrs. Wright’s murdering of her husband is justified.