The Trifles is a play about the murder mystery written by Susan Glaspell. The main setting of this play is based in cold landscape of the Kitchen where all the actions took place. There is a lonely household Mrs. Wright found in the disordered kitchen with unwashed dishes, loaf f bread, and dirty dishtowel. Five persons entered the house including three men, and two women; Sheriff Peters and Mrs. Petters, Mr. Henderson, and the neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Hale to investigate the case of Mr. Wright’s murder case. The Sheriff asked Mr. Hale to explain whatever he saw this morning when he saw Mr. Wright’s body. The play is about gender inequality that is the major them of this play. We can find the role of women in the family, isolation, spousal abuse, social expectation of women in this play. This essay will highlight the major theme of this play, and which social issues the writer of the play has described.
The man in this play was representing dominant personalities and their role was s a public figure, while the women were considered inferior ad they were restricted to work at home only. This play was written in 1916, so it described the misogynistic philosophy, just a few years before the 19th amendment which declared rights of the vote to women. This play described American culture and the relationship between man and woman. It was about the role of women in society, and to raise a woman’s voice. In this play women tried to give their significant opinion, however, men dismissed all their opinion because women were considered inferior, and were confined to knitting and cooking, etc. The crime in this play was not easily solved because the voice of women was not respected. Women were depending on their husbands, and they didn’t have the freedom to work and earn money. If they had the freedom to work, Mr. Wright would have left her husband long before, and this crime would never happen.
Mrs. Wright was the wife of the murdered, and she was the primary suspect because she was with him at home and nobody else was there. She informed Mr. Hale about John’s death when she was telling about her husband’s murder, she showed no expressions of grief and even managed a laugh. She was arrested in this case, she was not the murderer, but she was not happy with her husband. She was quiet and calm during the investigation, she showed confident while providing all the details to the police. However, deep inside her, she was broken, and she was in trouble, with a horrible future ahead (Michael, 2017).
Mrs. Wright before marrying John Wright was living a happy life. She used to wear beautiful clothes and looks attractive. However, after marriage, she didn’t wear these beautiful clothes, and she was lacking of contentment, and attractive parts in her life. Mrs. Petter said that she remembers how beautiful Mrs. Wright was before marriage, and she remembered her expensive and colorful dresses. The was some unfinished task in the kitchen, about which the two ladies were suspicious. Because they considered that women never left unfinished work because they feel uncomfortable. She didn’t have a problem being a household, and she was doing all the tasks with no excuses; such as cooking, mending clothes, cleaning, etc. However, due to undisclosed reasons, she wasn’t able to finish these tasks. There was an empty cage in the house, so that was also part of the investigation. Finally, they found that Mrs. Wright killed her husband because she was not happy with her.
The lesson of this play was that women are equally wise and intelligent, they succeeded in places where laws were even hopeless. They found some clue at the farmhouse of John Wright, which became evident later on. Each time on the play men entered the stage and made negative comments about women and proved their masculine solidarity. Men don’t understand how a woman thinks about the events of the murder, and the two women helped the sheriff in the investigation. They knew Minnie since her childhood, she was a happy girl and a singer before marriage, and she wearing beautiful expensive dresses. So these two women found this clue as evidence, while the three men didn’t found any evidence. They made their judgment, and then seek her forgiveness instead of being convicted.
Minnie Wright was living in a farmhouse with her husband, she was not living a happy life after marriage. Due to the man dominant society, she had lost the fun in her life, she was confined to household tasks. The woman had no freedom to work, even they were not allowed to vote. She was an isolated woman and faced spousal abuse. The role of women in the family was limited, they were expected to do all household activities. Men usually made fun of women’s opinions and considered them naïve and were not allowed to participate in or talk about any social, political, and moral issues. Minnie wished to leave her husband, however, she was dependent on him, and the society had many constraints for women to work. Later on, this play, in 1920 and onward the issue of women’s rights was raised. Now women have equal rights, and they have freedom of expression, rights of the vote, and all other rights that men hold.
Meyer, Michael. Literature to Go. 3rd edition, Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2017. Print. ISBN 978-1319037260