The play was not only entertaining but eye opening as well. I could imagine how controversial it would have been in the days when it actually debuted. What was most interesting to me was the blonde woman’s reluctance to step outside of her gender role. Both women were supposed to merely sit while their husbands did all the detective work, and the blonde was, at first, content to do so. In a way, the other woman acted almost as a devil’s advocate; she was the initiator of the ‘bad’ behavior.
This conscience vs initiator relationship created the conflict of the play. The women were the ones creating the conflict, not the men. This in itself was cause for controversy in the early 20th century. Both women ended up finding sufficient evidence that it was the wife that killed her husband, but rather than turn away from her, both women came together to protect the wife.
In order to protect the wife, they had to actively remove evidence from their husbands and the detective. By hiding information, they gained an element of power over the men in this play. Looking at the play overall, the men were heavily stereotyped, but the women were not. The detective was chauvinistic and condescending, while thinking that he was charming. Each of the husbands were displayed as idiots, who just followed around the detective and laughed at all his jokes. The women, however, were exposed to conflicting morals and ideas that they themselves worked through in order to protect each other. The play was fascinating and I definitely want to look more into early feminist writings outside of class.