Social and Psychological Differences in Trifles by Susan Glaspell

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Lee Rodrik
October 16, 2012
ENG 102
Mr. Pennington

In the play Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, the central theme of the play are the social and psychological differences between the men and the women. The male characters has a chauvinistic attitude towards women, while the women are more understanding and perceptive than the men in terms of trying to solve the crime. It is because of the men's attitudes that led them to fail in seeing the truth of Mr. Wright's murder. Their attitudes were blatantly apparent while they were assessing the crime scene at the Wright House. Rather than being objective investigators, their negative views towards women and their discriminatory nature of the opposite sex caused them to overlook the situation and automatically branded Mrs. Wright as the killer with no regard for her emotions or state of mind at the time of the murder. The men were more concerned with criticizing Mrs. Wright's lack of proper homemaking skills than trying to find the reason behind the murder of Mr. Wright. In line 157, while looking for evidence, the county attorney complains after washing his hands, "Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?", while kicking the pans under the sink. His irritation showed his negative attitude because the house was not kept in proper standards by Mrs. Wright. His actions alluded to his beliefs that since women stayed home as house wives, while holding no proper jobs in the world, they should at least keep the house up to par. He defends his opinions to the ladies in line 163 saying that "I know that there are some Dickson County farmhouses that do not have such roller towels." When Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters quickly defended Mrs. Wright, his reaction was, "Ah, loyal to your sex , I see." His demeaning undertone revealed his lack of respect for women's societal roles and believes that women are inferior to men.

The women on the other hand, were more perceptive and sympathetic to Mrs....
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