Preview
Preview

Trifles by Susan Keating Glaspell Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1256 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Trifles by Susan Keating Glaspell

Mention the word feminist and most people think of the modern women's movement. Long before the bra burning of the 60’s, however, writers were writing about the lives and concerns of women living in a male dominated society. Susan Glaspell's play, Trifles, was written in 1916, long before the modern women's movement began. Her story reveals, through Glaspell's use of formal literary proprieties, the role that women are expected to play in society, and the harm that it brings not only the women, but the men as well. Character names are important in Trifles. Two characters who are never seen, John and Minnie Wright, provide the inciting incident for the play. The name "Wright" plays off the social stereotype of women seeking" Mr. Right," so they also represent the roles of men and women in the larger society. Minnie's name has a double significance, "Minnie" being "mini" or "minimized," which was descriptive of her relationship with John and in general of women's relationship with men. The taking of the husband's name is also important in the story. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are not given first names. The role that society has cast them in is one that is defined by their husbands. Mrs. Peters, who is married to the sheriff, is viewed in those terms, not as an individual. The county attorney even says "for that matter a sheriff's wife is married to the law" (Glaspell ..). Mrs. Peters herself tries to fulfill that role, saying "Mrs. Hale, the law is the law" (Glaspell ..). She tries to reinforce that identity until she is faced with the brutality of what John Wright did to Minnie. She says "I know what stillness is. The law has got to punish crime, Mrs. Hale" (Glaspell ..). The difference is that she is talking about the crime committed against Minnie, not the murder. The best example of the importance of names, especially married names, is the image of Minnie Foster. "I hear she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively when she was Minnie Foster . . ." Mrs. Hale says (Glaspell..). She talks about Minnie again on page ..: "I wish you'd seen Minnie Foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and sang" (Glaspell..). The image of Minnie Foster is used to show, by contrast, what John Wright ...


... middle of paper ...


...g when she replies to the county attorney's question about the quilt, saying "we call it —knot it, Mr. Henderson" (Glaspell ..). The title, Trifles, is itself a reflection of how men view women. A "trifle" is something that is small, of no consequence. Mr. Hale says that "women are used to worrying over trifles" (Glaspell ..). The irony of the story is that while the men are running around looking for "clues," the women have discovered the key to the mystery among what the men look at as only silly women's work. The feminist agenda of Trifles is not meant to be subtle. Glaspell uses the formal elements in the play to help convey the feminist theme. The title, the character names, and the metaphors all work together to paint not only a picture of Minnie's life with John, but by extension, the lives of all women who live oppressed under male domination. Trifles is not just a reflection, however. It is also a call for women to use their perceived powerlessness as a tool to manipulate the system, and a warning to men that a system where one segment of the population dominates and oppresses another, cannot and will not be tolerated forever.







Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Symbolism in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay - Symbolism in Trifles by Susan Glaspell In today's society, we generally view upon everyone as equal beings who deserve equal rights. At the turn of the 20th century, this particular view didn?t exist. Men clearly dominated almost every aspect of life and women were often left with little importance. The Wright?s embody this view of roles in Susan Glaspell?s play Trifles. Mrs. Wright was a typical woman who suffered the mental abuse from her husband and was caged from life. In Trifles, a mixture of symbolism of oppression illustrates Mrs....   [tags: Sybolism Trifles Susan Glaspell Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
866 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Three Symbols in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay - The setting of a story is the physical and social context in which the action of a story occurs.(Meyer 1635) The setting can also set the mood of the story, which will help readers to get a better idea pf what is happening. The major elements of the setting are the time, place, and social environment that frame the characters. (Meyer 1635) "Trifles by Susan Glaspell portrays a gloomy, dark, and lonely setting. Glaspell uses symbolic objects to help the audience get a better understanding for the characters....   [tags: Trifles, Susan Glaspell] 305 words
(0.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Gender Differences in Susan Glaspell's Trifles - Gender Differences in Trifles     Susan Glaspell's play, "Trifles", attempts to define one of the main behavioral differences between man and woman. For most of the story, the two genders are not only geographically separated, but also separated in thought processes and motive, so that the reader might readily make comparisons between the two genders. Glaspell not only verbally acknowledges this behavioral difference in the play, but also demonstrates it through the characters' actions and the turns of the plot....   [tags: Trifles Susan Glaspell]
:: 1 Works Cited
1046 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Feminimity and Masculinity in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essays - Feminimity and Masculinity in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Works Cited Not Included Trifles, a one-act play, written by Susan Glaspell, has an interesting plot about an abusive husband?s murder at the hands of his abused wife on a secluded farm in the Midwest (Russell, pg. 1). The opening scene of the play gives us a great deal of information about the people of the play and their opinions. The play portrays the ways in which men treated women during this time period. The men in the reading reflected a male-oriented society, which caused the women feelings of repression and unappreciation....   [tags: Trifles Susan Glaspell Essays] 974 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Susan Glaspell's Trifles Essay - Susan Glaspell's Trifles Susan Glaspell's Trifles explores the classical male stereotype of women by declaring that women frequently worry about matters of little, or no importance. This stereotype makes the assumption that only males are concerned with important issues, issues that females would never discuss or confront. The characters spend the entirety of the play searching for clues to solve a murder case. Ironically, the female characters, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, uncover crucial evidence and solve the murder case, not the male characters....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Trifles Essays] 1167 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Treatment of Women in Trifles by Susan Glaspell - The Treatment of Women in Trifles by Susan Glaspell "Trifles," a one-act play written by Susan Glaspell, is a cleverly written story about a murder and more importantly, it effectively describes the treatment of women during the early 1900s. In the opening scene, we learn a great deal of information about the people of the play and of their opinions. We know that there are five main characters, three men and two women. The weather outside is frighteningly cold, and yet the men enter the warm farmhouse first....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Plays Essays Trifles] 844 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Symbolic Illustration of the Power of Relationships in Susan Glaspell's Trifles - Symbolic Illustration of the Power of Relationships in Susan Glaspell's Trifles A friend can be a remarkable thing. Unfortunately, many lack the powerful bonds that all humans need to survive and lead healthy, happy lives. In Susan Glaspell's play Trifles, Mrs. Wright is starved of the human interaction and relationships she so desperately needs. Consequently, she is never rescued from her loneliness, is brought to the point where she cannot handle any more of life's saddening struggles, and kills her husband in his sleep....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Trifles Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1192 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Perceptions of Men and Women Revealed in Susan Glaspell's Trifles - Perceptions of Men and Women Revealed in Susan Glaspell's Trifles Human beings not only live in the physical world but also survive in the emotional world. Frequently, one's emotional world actually controls the actions one commits in the physical world. Perception plays an enormous part in what one feels is important and what one feels is unimportant. Is there a difference between perception of men and women. In Susan Glaspell's story Trifles, she examines the difference of perception between men and women in a unique way by revealing these differences in the solving of a murder case....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Trifles Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1995 words
(5.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Examination of Mrs Wright in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay - Examination of Mrs Wright in Trifles by Susan Glaspell The play ?Trifles?, by Susan Glaspell , is an examination of the different levels of early 1900?s mid-western farming society?s attitudes towards women and equality. The obvious theme in this story is men discounting women?s intelligence and their ability to play a man?s role, as detectives, in the story. A less apparent theme is the empathy the women in the plot find for each other. Looking at the play from this perspective we see a distinct set of characters, a plot, and a final act of sacrifice....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Trifles Essays] 1007 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Danger in Susan Glaspell's Trifles - The Danger in Susan Glaspell's Trifles Susan Glaspell's 'Trifles' is a play about a real life murder case that uses symbolism to help bring it to a close. It is easy to see that Mr. and Mrs. Wright live in a society that is cut off from the outside world and also strongly separated by gender. Three of the key symbols in Glaspell's play are a simple bird cage, a quilt, and isolationism. Anna Uong of Virginia Tech and Karen Shelton of JSRCC share these same ideas on symbolism. These three symbols are the main clues that help the reader decide who killed Mr....   [tags: Essays Papers Glaspell Trifles ]
:: 1 Works Cited
811 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]