Both, A play titled “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell and a short story called “The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, are alike in many ways. Both of these works of art were produced at a time when women did not have a lot to say, by authors who were pre-feminist. As we analyze the similarities between both works it is obvious that both are written by, to advocate and for, women. The main points we are going to look at, which both authors illustrate in their works, are subjugation, isolation and disrespect, important points made in both stories.
As shown in both works subjugation of women is wrong and can lead to tragic outcomes, a point being stressed in both stories by the authors. Isolation and disrespect of both women lead to tragic endings in both works. Subjugated by their husbands, Both women are isolated from society in both works. Looking at the similarities, neither women had kids and were very lonesome in their house with both of their husbands gone the majority of the time. Neither were allowed to go out and have social lives, they weren’t allowed to have friends or any kind of company. They were both controlled in a totalitarian fashion.
As shown in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, John’s wife is made to believe that she is sick when she really isn’t, her daily schedule is controlled by her husband John. She is told when to eat, what activities to do and when to rest . The same psychological game is played with Mrs. Wright by Mr. Wright in “Trifles”. Mr. Wright even kills the canary, which might be the only thing that Mrs. Wright is attached to since her freedom is taken away as we find out by the women in the play, that she isn’t allowed to go out. Subjugation by these men trigger mental stress on both women which leads to tragedy.
Both women are shown disrespect by their husbands. “I didn’t know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John” said by Hale, a acquaintance of John Wright, clearly tells us that Mr. Wright didn’t consider anything from Mrs. Wright weather it’s her feelings about something or an opinion. Similarly, In the short story John calls his wife names like “poor little girl” or “my little goose”, his attitude towards her ideas or thoughts is expressed as one’s attitude towards a child or towards someone who doesn’t know any better, like she doesn’t know anything.
Both women are disrespected against their capabilities and equity. Both works have tragic endings which could’ve been avoided, only if the husbands would’ve treated their wives right, with respect and not try to govern them. The outcome would’ve been beneficial to both couples if and only if the men would have kept their wives happy by doing simple things. For example, as we see in the play Mr. Wright not only has her isolated in the house but shows cruelty to her by killing her canary because he got annoyed by it so he wrung its neck, the bird was her friend it used to sing to her which she loved.
By him taking away the only thing she enjoyed anymore he provoked her to commit actions that would benefit her. Because she was so sick of the mistreatment she wanted him to go away, Therefore Mrs. Wright killed her husband the same way he killed her canary. This tragedy could’ve been avoided if Mr. Wright only treated his wife better. Due to treatment we lead to another tragedy in the short story, because John won’t let his wife out and made her think she was sick, she really got sick because of no social life and staying inside the house all the time and staring into walls she went crazy.
Another tragedy which could’ve been avoided if John didn’t subjugate his wife into isolation. Both Tragedies occur due to Subjugation, isolation and disrespect. Both Gilman and Glaspell illustrate the consequences of subjugation through isolation and disrespect. Similarly, neither women had anyone to talk to besides for themselves in their minds due to isolation. They were both treated with disrespect which caused insanity because they couldn’t do anything about it due to subjugation. In conclusion only negativity is derived from subjugation, isolation and disrespect.
Courtney from Study Moose