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Trifles by Susan Glaspel Essay

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When a person goes through a traumatizing event in his or her life, he or she can either choose to accept what happened and move on from the experience positively or cope in a negative way. In “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspel, Mrs. Wright deals with the death of her pet bird, by what we can gather from the text, by killing her husband? Mr. Wright. In “Trifles” even though males are dominant in the society, the female characters in the story, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, view them as fools. The fools that drive the story are three males: the sheriff, county attorney, and Hale. What causes these males to be labeled fools is their apparent blindness to the fact that, during this time period, the male dominance was considered normal and the females were expected to submit to their husbands. According to The New York Times, the males are, “blinded by ignorance and insensitivity” (New York Times Review). The males in this time period by being ignorant and insensitive to their own wives shows their character and just adds to their attitudes towards women. This also proves why these males are such fools because they just assume their women should submit to them, yet, they can be ignorant and insensitive towards them. The writer Henry James said that no story “is possible without its fools” (387). Little do the three male characters realize though, their foolish ways are what drive the scenes and motivates the females characters, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, to their actions.
Trifles was published in 1916 and because of that, the time period plays a lot into the story. According to the side notes in the text, party telephones is “a party line in which a number of households each have extensions of a single line, a common arrangement in the early ...


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...y were the intelligent ones, they were actually the fools. The women may have stuck with their society roles, but they were not acting the roles within themselves. Instead, they worked together and proved to themselves that they could outsmart the males, and for once, not be the fools and be the dominant ones, underneath it all, by figuring out the motives and solving the murder of Mr. Wright. They even went to the extent of standing up for their gender and hiding evidence to protect Mrs. Wright. Regardless of whether the males had the intention of being these ignorant and irrational people, their actions and attitudes towards women, especially to their wives, added to their foolishness. The males held up to their roles of society just as well as the women and the males proved that they were dominant in their own way and in their minds, but still blind and a fool.




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