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Women In The Play Trifles

Decent Essays
Feminist “Trifles” The play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, was written in a period dominated by men, but the three female characters, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Peters, and Mrs. Wright more than compensate for the lack of female representation. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters brought along to the scene of a crime, are only there to collect some items for the arrested, Mrs. Wright. While there, they not only discover what the men could not, but make the decision to politely undermine their authority and elect their sex over their social expectations.
“Trifles” although set in the past, is about a modern idea: feminism. Feminism is “the belief in the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes” (Burkett). In 1869, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady
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Hale and Mrs. Peters is a direct outcome of their feelings toward the treatment of Mrs. Wright, therefore they chose to represent their sex. They do not assist the men with their investigation, even after finding the dead bird and uncovering the motive for the murder of Mr. Wright, Mrs. Wright’s husband. They do this because as they go through the home, they realize what a sad and lonely life Mrs. Wright had lived. They can only feel empathy for her and speak kindly when describing her, “was kind of a bird herself – real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and – fluttery” (Glaspell 608). The two women believe it was the harsh treatment of her husband that changed Mrs. Wright, “She used to sing. He killed that, too” (Glaspell 609). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters identify the reason behind Mrs. Wright’s reason to murder her husband. Her call to action is best described, by Makowsky, “the isolated Minnie would accept no further abuse from her cold, stingy husband and revenged the death of her pet and friend by killing John the same way” (62). Mrs. Peters understanding their female acquaintance, states, “I know how things can be for women. We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things – it’s all just a different kind of the same thing” (Glaspell 610). It is Mrs. Hale that takes the ultimate risk and conceals the bird from the men. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are the main female characters of the play; Mrs. Wright cannot be ignored. Fed up with her husband and vengeful over the death of her precious bird, murdering her husband is the ultimate act of radical feminism in the play, whether the men ever figure it out or
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