“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell Essay
“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell
Women in plays, far from being decorative, frequently exhibit greater strength than the surrounding men. Discuss this idea in relation to drama you have read. In this play, the women play an important role in the unfolding of the story. At first, it was a bit vague, since at the beginning, it was hinted that the story would revolve around a murder case. One may immediately think that it would involve the deductive reasoning of a male detective or raw male strength to figure out what really happened and catch the bad guy.
Women were introduced, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, but it seemed like they play an inferior role in the unfolding of the story. However, it was through these two women that we’re able to understand the story more. As we focus on the conversations of these women, we learn a lot about the murder victim and his wife. Even though they’re not present in the story, we seem to have an understanding about what they’re like, and how the events lead to the victim’s demise.
Looking at the story on a different angle, we may see Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters as just the wives of some big characters who were trying to solve the murder mystery. But as they go through the things in the house, we can see that they know more about the murder than the real detectives. The subtle details in the house, like the quilting patterns, the arrangement of things, broken jars, are just unimportant pieces of information that does not contribute to the cases unfolding.
But through the eyes of these two women, these things tell a story. The attention to detail of the two women clearly tells us what really happened in the Wright household. The farmer’s wife is unhappy because she’s kept in her house like a prisoner, just like the bird on a cage. Her only companion was killed by the controlling John Wright, and it sparked the wife’s rage. This was shown by the details that the detectives missed out in the house because they thought were just not helpful.
In this play, the women weren’t just decorations. They’re the real focus of the play. They exhibit greater strength because they are able to use their emotions in judging a circumstance. By the end of the play, they chose not to divulge any information they have gathered about the crime, since it could further implicate the farmer’s wife. They know what she went through, and they’re glad that she was able to finally gain her freedom from his oppressive husband