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Distinct Understanding on Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay

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Susan Glaspell writes Trifles based on a real life murder and introduces the contemporary feminist concerns of identity and the necessity for female support and understanding. In the story, the county attorney, the sheriff and a neighboring farmer go to the isolated, abandoned farmhouse to investigate John Wright’s murder, while the wives of the sheriff and the farmer go along to get some personal belongings for Minnie, who is now in the jail. John Wright is strangled in his bed and his wife, Minnie is the major suspect as she does not wake up when the crime happens. The three men start the search for the clues to a possible motive for the murder with a bumptiously arranged and perfect plan. They laugh at the women’s care on the trifles, which is actually the key point of the crime case. Ultimately, the women find out the truth of the case that the men do not, and decide to hide the evidence as they empathize with the life that Minnie has been living. Trifles by Susan Glaspell features the divergence of principles on judgment between female and male, and highlights the difference in gender and behavior. Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale’s empathy, protection for women, and perception of judgment and ethics turn the ending of the play around.
In the play, Glaspell shows the oppression of women in marriage with the character of Minnie. Mrs. Hale says that Minnie “used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir” (Glaspell 188-190). The conflict occurs when Mrs. Hales describes Mr. Wright as “a hard man” (Glaspell 311) and says “just to pass the time of day with him – (Shivers.) Like a raw wind that gets to the bone” (Glaspell 311-312). Other than that, Mrs. Hale has not been ...


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...gate the case from small things that tell how Minnie’s life is and what thought is Minnie having. The success in figuring out the murderer shows the necessity to recognize women’s ability and tells the divergent female principle of judgment should actually be supported.
From the title Trifles, Susan Glaspell symbolizes women as insignificant beings from men’s viewpoint and, the small and detailed things, which are of great importance and value, are considered inessential to men. The symbols of Trifles have shown the social, and psychological oppression of women. The play criticizes the culture which is inherently patriarchal and society’s conservative views of women, and shows that female’s sense of empathy and protection, as well as female principles of judgment can actually cause a big deal – changing a matter from happening in a way that it should actually be.



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