The play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell takes place in a bleak, untidy kitchen of a farmhouse. Farmer John Wright has been murdered and his wife, Minnie Wright, is taken into custody as a suspect to his murder. Sheriff Peters and County Attorney George Henderson pride themselves on their powers of detection and logical reasoning. They begin searching through the house trying to find any sort of evidence. But it is the two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who discover the trifles in which is the key evidence that the men are looking for. Because this story is set in the twentieth century community, the men take no concern in what the women have to say or do. By the end of this play, the women decide not to tell them men of the evidence they found in the farmhouse since the men believe that they are superior. In the play “Trifles”, Glaspell shows us that the men have the role of being head of everything and how the women do not get as fairly treated.
First, Glaspell shows us that the men in this play, Sherriff Peters, Attorney Henderson, and a neighboring farmer, Lewis Hale, have the role of being head of everything. She characterizes men as not giving women enough credit for their everyday hard labor. The attorney displays this characteristic the best because he is always looking down on the women. County Attorney states, “This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies” (1111). This statement shows the readers that he feels the need to tell the women that they can come up to the fire to get warm. He is basically allowing them to come to the fire when that is something that they should be able to do without permission. He also shows this when he says, “Here’s a nice mess” and “Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies” (1113-14)? His commenting on the house exemplifies how he expects the women to take care of the house and that it should always be spotless.
In addition, the Sherriff states a very sarcastic phrase about the women by...
Cited: Glaspell, Susan. “Trifles.” Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 11th ed. Portable ed. New York: Longman, 2007. 1111-21. Print.
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