Topics: Gender, Gender role, Evidence Pages: 2 (512 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Sam Gelman
Trifles Essay-topic 2

As the title of the play suggests, the concerns of women are often considered to be mere trifles, unimportant issues that bear little or no importance to the true work of society, which, of course, is being carried out by men. Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles, was written in 1916, and reflects the author’s preoccupation with culture-bound notions of gender and sex roles. No longer relegated to the home, but not yet accepted in the marketplace, women did not yet have true social status or rank. The men within this play betray a sense of self-importance. They present themselves as tough, serious-minded detectives, when in truth they are not nearly as observant as the female characters. When the women are first introduced they stand apart from the men, clustered at the stove. The men talk with a rough familiarity born of working together and knowing one another. The women seem less acquainted and never call each other by their first names. But at the men's first disparaging remarks about Minnie's housekeeping the women begin to move closer together, and feel more comfortable with each other. The men continue to enter and leave the room, "physically crisscross[ing] the stage as they verbally crisscross the details of the crime, both actions leading nowhere. In this way, Glaspell undercuts their authority and questions their power, as appose to the women who prove to be more perceptive then the men, racking in helpful clues which ultimately lead to the solving of the case.  The women also demonstrate a more compassionate side then the men by choosing to hide evidence as an act of sympathy for Mrs. Wright. In addition to finding the clues, the women are able to understand Mrs. Wrights reasoning as to why she killed her husband. The play ends with the characters exiting the kitchen and the women announcing that they have determined Mrs. Wright’s quilt making style. This clue is the inconclusive evidence that Mrs. Wright is in...
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