Conflicts in Trifles

Reads: 7403  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
In the play Trifles, the author Susan Glaspell illustrates the subjugation of women by their male counter parts. The murder and investigation of John Wright highlights the social conflicts and restrictions of women during the early 1900’s. The conflicts between the wives and their husbands show how many women feel their roles are to follow their husbands lead. Trifles, represents the conflicts of women who have been socially repressed by a male dominated society and their escape from a life of servitude.

Submitted: August 04, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 04, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

In the play Trifles, the author Susan Glaspell illustrates the subjugation of women by their male counter parts.The murder and investigation of John Wright highlights the social conflicts and restrictions of women during the early 1900’s.  The conflicts between the wives and their husbands show how many women feel their roles are to follow their husbands lead.  Trifles, represents the conflicts of women who have been socially repressed by a male dominated society and their escape from a life of servitude. 

One conflict is between the group of men who are investigating the murder and the women who are there to collect items for Mrs. Wright.  This conflict starts when the men, “go at once to the stove” to warm up and leave the women standing inside the door way to the house (1366). The author has used the men, circled around the stove, as a representation to show how  women are left out of social and business circles.  When asked by the young County Attorney, to “come up to the fire, ladies” their only response is “I’m not-cold” (1367).  Their denial to the invitation shows their self portrayed position in society and feelings that women have no place in men’s business.  Mrs. Peters serves as an example of how many believe that a women’s place is in the home.  While gathering items for Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Peters, picks up an apron and says, “Funny thing to want… goodness knows. But I suppose just to make her feel more natural” (1370).  This allusion to her feeling more natural shows what society expects from women of this period.

  Another conflict in the story takes place during the discussion between Mr. and Mrs. Hale and the County Attorney.  The use of a young Attorney to invite the women to join the men at the stove shows that society’s concept of equal rights for women is a new idea from a younger generation.  Glaspell uses these contrasts between the generations to illustrate that men are not absent from the repression of women.And the Author makes this point with Mrs. Hale’s statement, “Men’s hands aren’t always as clean as they might be” (1369).Mr. Hale shows evidence of this repression  with his comments to the group of men, “women are used to worrying over trifles” (1369).  And while talking about the trifles it is the County Attorney who defends the women when he asks, “what would we do without the ladies?” (1369).  The dramatic irony in this phrase foreshadows the conflicts between Mr. and Mrs. Wright and the motive behind Mr. Wright’s murder. 

The most obvious conflict is between Mrs. Wright, and her husband.  The author suggests that Mr. Wright, has been the cause to her repression and withdraw from society.  Mrs. Hale, says “she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively” when describing Mrs. Wright (1370).And while Commenting to the County Attorney Mrs. Hale says, “I don’t think a place’d be any cheerfuller for John Wright’s being in it” (1369).  Mrs. Hale is suggesting that over time Mr. Wright is the cause in Mrs. Wright attitude change.  However, in this symbolic murder of Mr. Wright, the author uses it to sentimentality discuss the women’s suffrage movement in the 1900’s.Glaspell makes the statement, even if women have suffered from repression by their husbands violence is not the answer.  Mrs. Peters tells Mrs. Hale, “The law has got to punish crime” (1374). 

Trifles, is a play of conflicts between women and society and there symbolic escape from subjugation.  The first conflict in the story shows how women are exiled from social and business circles within our society.  This conflict expresses the idea of the roles that society expects women to play as home makers.  In contrast to this old ideology the Author uses a young county Attorney to represent a new concept of equal rights for women.  The conflict between the County Attorney and the older generation shows the Authors use of Feminist Criticism to explain women’s suffrage from a woman’s point of view.  The most obvious conflict in the story is between Mrs. Wright and her husband.  This final conflict is used by the Author to sentimentality induce emotional responses for Mrs. Wright and the understanding for the motive of Mr. Wright’s murder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

 

Glaspell, Susan “Trifles” The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2011. 1366-1375. Print.

 


© Copyright 2017 History guy. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Unknown

More Editorial and Opinion Essays