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Essay on The Deception of Trifles: Gender Roles in the Play by Glaspell

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In the 19th Century, women had different roles and treated differently compared to today’s women in American society. In the past, men expected women to carry out the duties of a homemaker, which consisted of cleaning and cooking. In earlier years, men did not allow women to have opinions or carry on a job outside of the household. As today’s societies, women leave the house to carry on jobs that allow them to speak their minds and carry on roles that men carried out in earlier years. In the 19th Century, men stereotyped women to be insignificant, not think with their minds about issues outside of the kitchen or home. In the play Trifles, written by Susan Glaspell, the writer portrays how women in earlier years have no rights and men treat women like dirt. Trifles is based on real life events of a murder that Susan Glaspell covered during her work as a newspaper reporter in Des Moines and the play is based off of Susan Glaspell’s earlier writing, “A Jury of Her Peers”. The play is about a wife of a farmer that appears to be cold and filled with silence. After many years of the husband treating the wife terrible, the farmer’s wife snaps and murders her husband. In addition, the play portrays how men and women may stick together in same sex roles in certain situations. The men in the play are busy looking for evidence of proof to show Mrs. Wright murdered her husband. As for the women in the play, they stick together by hiding evidence to prove Mrs. Wright murdered her husband. Although men felt they were smarter than women in the earlier days, the play describes how women are expected of too much in their roles, which could cause a woman to emotionally snap, but leads to women banding together to prove that women can be...


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...stine. "On the Edge: The Plays of Susan Glaspell." Modern Drama 31.1 (Mar. 1988): 91-105. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Marie Lazzari. Vol. 55. Detroit: Gale Research, 1995. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan,
Susan X Day, Robert Funk, and Linda Coleman 9th ed. Longman: Pearson, 2011. 1028- 1037. Print.
Kastleman, Rebecca. "A Silenced Woman." American Theatre Feb. 2010: 19. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.
Wright, Janet Stobbs. "Law, Justice, and Female Revenge in 'Kerfol,' by Edith Wharton, and Trifles and 'A Jury of Her Peers,' by Susan Glaspell." Atlantis 24.1 (June 2002): 299- 302. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Vol. 132. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 29 Nov. 2011.


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