The Role of Women in Trifles and The Jewelry
In Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles, written around 1915, the role of women is superior to the men’s role and in Guy de Maupassant’s story, The Jewelry, the woman has an inferior role, and in the end, we find out that she was not a faithful wife. As the two stories are set at the turn of the twentieth century, the readers come to believe that women were not treated with much respect or thought to be intelligent; they were merely there to make children and clean their husband’s house. The role of women from Trifles and The Jewelry is meant to look genuine and equal, but at the end of both stories, we learn that women are not as innocent and passive as they were meant to be seen.
According to the oxford dictionary, trifles is defined as a matter of little value or importance; ‘a thing of no moment’; a trivial, paltry, or insignificant affair. In the play written by Susan Glaspell, trifles refers to the places and things Mrs. Wright spent most of her time and energy, such as the kitchen and sewing room. The sheriff, county attorney, and Hale search around the Wright’s home, disregarding everything that John Wright would have spent the least amount of his time, and the cold hard emotionless facts, and where Mrs. Wright spent the majority of hers. The fact that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale teamed up and discovered the motive and murderer, by merely looking at the whole house, including the kitchen and sewing room, where the men would not spend any time in looking for clues, shows the women’s ability to sympathize with Mrs. Wright, as in the county attorney’s line “Ah, loyal to your sex, I see. But you and Mrs. Wright were neighbors. I suppose you were friends, too” (1128), and eventually solve the case. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters discover a dead canary that had been strangled in Mrs. Wright’s sewing kit. They then talk about how the dead canary relates to Mrs. Wright, as she was a beautiful happy woman who would sing to her...
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