“The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin, and the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, are stories about married women and at that time of the stories, women were supposed to stay home. Women were supposed to take care of the house, while their husbands were out to work. Their opinions would never matter or considered, and men were dominant over them. These two stories express how these women suffered from marriage. The theme of marriage is represented similarly in both stories, but they do represent them in different ways.
“The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin, is a story about a married woman named Louise Mallard and she finds out that her husband died in a train accident. Mrs. Mallard’s sister had to break the tragic news to her in a very gentle way because she suffers from a heart condition. When Mrs. Mallard finds out about her husband’s death, she cries her eyes out, then goes to her room to be alone and locks the door.
When she was alone in the room, she starts to have these feelings of freedom. She begins to repeat “Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin). She realizes that she is finally free, even though she and her husband loved each other, and she thinks of him as her companion. She feels liberated for the first time and she looks forward to the days ahead of her. While she is having an epiphany, her sister finally convinces her to get out of the room and they both go downstairs.
Suddenly, the door opens and Mr. Mallard walks in. when she sees her husband, she has a tremendous shock and because of that, she dies. The doctor who examines her afterward says that she died because of the sudden joy.
The “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, is a play where john wright is murdered and his wife, Minnie Wright is arrested for the murder. Sheriff Henry Peters and county attorney George Henderson visit the murder scene of john wright and to collect evidence against Minnie. They brought Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Peters and Lewis Hale; the neighbor of John Wright. The first person who saw the dead body other than Minnie was Lewis Hale. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale came along to collect personal stuff for Minnie and to bring them to her in jail. The men were busy searching for the evidence and they left Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters alone. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters started their own search in the kitchen, which was a place where men didn’t search very well. The men did not search the kitchen because, according to the Sheriff peter, there, “There here but kitchen things” (982). These words show the sheriff’s disdain for women’s work and also, it’s introducing the theme of sexism that occurs throughout the play.
Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters notice how dull the clothes of Minnie are and Mrs. Hale says, “she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively when she was Minnie Foster” (984). These words imply that Minnie was happier and used to wear pretty clothes before she got married to John Wright. Also, it implies that her husband made her wear dull and shabby clothes and he was abusive. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find a birdcage and a dead bird in it, they assumed that John killed the bird and caused his wife to kill him. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters felt sympathetic towards Minnie, they realized that her husband was abusive. They hide the evidence from the men, who thinks of these things as no more than some “trifles”.
“The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin, and the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, are two stories where the authors represent gender roles. These two stories present two women that are unhappy in their marriage lives and they also, represent the dominants of men. The marriage theme in these two stories has one similar issue that shapes the flow of these stories. In “The story of an hour” it is evident that Mrs. Mallard was happy that her husband died because she finally regains her freedom. “There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature” (Chopin). She finds these thoughts as horrible thoughts at first but then she manages to justify these thoughts due to her experience in her marriage.
Similarly, in the play, “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peter have an epiphany. Where Mrs. Hale tells Mrs. Peter “I heard that Mrs. Wright used to wear pretty clothes which made her life during her Minnie Foster period and one of the girls singing in the choir” (984). Which explains that she was happier and lively before getting married. In “The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin, Mrs. Mallard finds her individuality and freedom at the last moments of her life. In the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Hale have an epiphany because she realizes the dominants of men and she hides the evidence from them to justify Mrs. Wright.
In conclusion, “The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin and the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, shows how married women had been living. Most married women at the time of the story were living under the dominants of men. The play “Trifles” is showing a better picture of what married women go through under the dominants of men. The play “Trifles” has more emotional impact and most likely to leave the audience thinking about the dominants of men and marriage problems than will implement the light-hearted tragedy of a married couple in “The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin. The play “Trifles” provides a harsh understanding of marriage life than “The story of an hour”, which uses plot twist to surprise the audience.
Chopin, Kate. The story of an hour. 1894. PrintGlaspell, Susan. “Trifles.” (1882-1948). Print“The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/topics/story-hour.
“Trifles by Susan Glaspell.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com,
www.enotes.com/topics/trifles.”Trifles vs. Story of an Hour Essay.” Graduateway, 4 Feb 2017,