In the early 1900’s men ruled over society. Men ran businesses, ruled countries, controlled households but most importantly controlled the women around them. To men, women were nothing but fixtures in a home; they were objects that did not have important thoughts or valid views of the world. Men wanted women to be silent and controlled. Women during this time were not given the same respect as men were and definitely did not hold any weight in shaping the views of society as men constantly silenced them because men held all the power in society. In the 1916 play Trifles by Susan Gaspell; there is a tone of feminism within this murder story that displays the many mistreatings of women during the early 1900’s and the silence that was forced upon them. This essay will discuss the examples of feminism in the play and why they are important to take notice of.
The play begins with the retelling of a murder scene of a Mr. Wright, a harsh man that lived alone with his wife, Mrs. Wright. The sheriff along with his wife and Mrs. Hale arrive at the Wright home and converse in the kitchen about who the possible murderer is. The men immediately believe it to be Mrs. Wright and look around the house for evidence to convict her. As the men look around, the wives inspect the kitchen. The wives, unlike the men, notice all the unfinished items laying about the kitchen. These items include ruined fruit preserves, an unmade quilt, and a messy tabletop. The women note how the untidiness of the kitchen and the unfinished quilt reflect Mrs. Wright’s unstable relationship with her husband and how bleak her life was like. The women mention these observations to the men but the men shoot them down, telling the women that such “trifles” are just women things, not evidence to a murder case. This is a prime example of feminism in this play showing how the men immediately silence the wives opinions and views of the murder because they do not believe that unfinished quilts and fruit...
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