Trifles Brief Analysis
Trifles is a one-act show that illustrates how women overreact to their own feelings to a point that their decisions are highly influenced by emotions. It is an interesting play that is about a woman who was being accused of her husband’s murder who was found strangled in his sleep. It focuses on the author’s obsession with culture-linked notions of sexual roles and obligations commonly known as gender. As the title suggests, women’s concerns are occasionally considered as more trifle or as unnecessary issues that hardly have importance in society (Hinz, 2006). Male characters are portrayed to have chauvinistic attitudes towards women while on the other hand, women are portrayed to be perceptive and more understanding than their counterparts, in matters related to solving the crime.
There are numerous instances when their experiences and language have been belittled. Men characters in this play are chauvinistic and do not value women’s opinions. The following are some of the major instances in which women have been disregarded.
Men probing Wright’s murder had an extremely high negative attitude towards women and tended to discriminate against them. This made them overlook the scenario thereby automatically branding Mrs. Wright as the murderer without necessarily considering the whole situation in terms of her emotions and mindset. Men failed to get the truth behind Mr. Wright’s death simply because of their attitude towards women since their aim was to criticize Mrs. Wright for poor homemaking skills as portrayed inline 157.
In addition, women are portrayed as they were only supposed to remain being homemakers. They believed that the house was supposed to be well kept by Mrs. Wright because that was her role anyway as a home wife or house maker. The attorney is also portrayed to be disrespectful to women inline 163 (Gainor, 2004). He used a demeaning undertone to address arrogantly women when they tried defending Mrs. Wright. In simple terms, the attorney was simply rude while addressing women. This shows how men devalued women’s social roles as well as how they believed that women are inferior. In the whole of this play, women’s sense of empathy is shown as the two women defended Mrs. Wright. These instances create sad moments in the play since it is absolutely not fair to mistreat or discriminate against any person on basis of their gender or any other ground.
The whole play was taking place in a Wright home as the only setting. Views of the characters are highly influenced by their gender to a point that women view completely different scenes even though the play is done in one sitting. For instance, male investigators could not notice certain stuff in the house such as sewing boxes, preserved fruits, empty birdcage among other households simply because they considered women’s contribution towards the investigation worthless (Gainor, 2004). If the play were to be replayed in a modern way, the setting would completely be different, maybe this time round using an expensive Masonite or bungalow as the setting, which would be equipped with expensive and luxurious households.
Women would not face the type of demoralization and discrimination they faced in the play since modern societies are now more civilized and have embraced women to equal men. Probably the investigation would be easy and fast since there would be enough collaboration between men and women. At the same time, the characters would be different and instead of the primitive men characters in the play, there would be men of respect who value women and their social roles. There are very high chances that everything would completely be different.
In conclusion, Susan’s play by the name Trifles is such an interesting one. It clearly shows how women were considered to be less worthy compared to their counterparts. It shows how the early 1900s societies devalued women, with men dominating in all top positions. Women’s duties are seen to be only being reproductive and house duties. Women are derided and mistreated by men as told in the play. However, if the play was to be played in an updated modern version, there are high chances that everything ranging from the setting to the characters in the play would be different.
Gainor, J. E. (2004). Susan Glaspell in Context: American theater, culture, and politics, 1915 – 48. Ann Arbor, Mich: Univ. of Michigan Press.
Hinz-Bode, K. (2006). Susan Glaspell and the anxiety of expression: Language and isolation in the plays. Jefferson, N.C. [u.a.: McFarland & Co.