Trifles: Gender Role and Minnie Foster

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Trifles: Psychological Critical Perspective
Erica Belton

Psychoanalytical perspective is the exploring of the mind at a deeper thought process. A conscious and unconscious state of mind behind the actions and behavior of the characters. Psychoanalytical perspective is found throughout the play “Trifles” through conflicts, symbolism, point of view, and even gender roles. These elements help the reader better understand the actions of the characters.

Susan Keating Glaspell (1882-1948) wrote the play “Trifles” during a time of controversial feminist issues. Glaspell, cofounder of a theatrical company was also a member of radical feminist groups. It is said that Glaspell married her husband during a time where gender roles played a important role in society. This could be the influence behind many of Glaspell characters. Glaspell, Expressed her thoughts and feelings through the actions of her characters. For example, Glaspell idea to write “Trifles” came from a real murder trial that Glaspell was assigned to cover as a newspaper reporter.

The play opens at the Wright farmhouse where Mr. Wright has been murdered in his sleep. They entered the house, county attorney, the sheriff, and Mrs. Hale and Mrs.Peters. The men and women have come to investigate the case against Minnie Foster, the wife dead of Mr. Wright. As the play opens gender roles play an important role within the characters as they look for clues. The men thought they were putting together a case but turned out to be overlooking all the important evidence. All the evidence the women noticed lead to them solving the murder case.

In the kitchen the men did nothing but insult Minnie and her kitchen. Making insulting comments such as “nothing her but kitchen things” and “Here’s a nice mess. Mocking the women over “trifles” by saying, “Women are used to worrying over trifles.”(Glaspell, 2011) As the men leave to go upstairs Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters were left downstairs to gather items to take to...
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