Tuesday, May 9, 2017


The play we viewed as a class last night, Trifles, was written during the pre-suffrage and feminist movement, it was viewed at the time as radically feminist. The play consisted of a group of people, three men and two women, all trying to solve a murder. The two detectives bring the women along to the crime scene to use them as people who just tend to Mrs. Minnie Wright, the woman in question. As the men demean the women, asking them ironic questions about their preserves and quilting, the women actually solve the mystery themselves.
The two women come to realize that Mrs. Minnie Wright, who most likely murdered her husband, was in an abusive relationship with her husband. She used to be happy and carefree until she became trapped as a farmer’s wife. She snapped her husband’s neck with a rope the way he snapped the neck of her little songbird, the one trapped in a cage that she identified closely with. We discussed after the play that being a farmer’s wife was a full-time job in itself. Many important things that allowed the farm to function were placed solely on the wife’s shoulders, like needing to starch the husband's pants day after day. Although Minnie Wright murdered her husband, the two women empathize with her sad and lonely life, and decide to bring her quilting box to her at the police station.
I think that Susan Glaspell was trying to play on the fact that, back in the day, many things were simply not looked at as ‘women's’ affairs’ and that women are often underestimated in society. The two men brought the women along as helpers as they attempted solving the actual mystery, but the two women did it on their own. Once they had actually solved the mystery, the men came downstairs and asked them if they had decided to “quilt it or knot it” and the women quickly hid the evidence and lied, replying “knot it, Mr. Peters.” The two men would never have asked if the women had found any sort of evidence, as they don't even think of them as capable finding any. They believe that women are to stick to quilting, making trifles, and keeping preservatives, and they certainly let the women know they believed this. At this time, pre-suffrage and feminist movement, the woman’s job was to stay in the house. Glaspell plays on this by showing that trapped Minnie Wright could murder her husband, and two others could solve the mystery on their own. This play kind of reminded me of Law and Order: SVU, and how the main character on that show is a female detective. It made me happy to realize how times have changed in society and how women are now allowed to pursue any profession they want. Although women are still far from equality, we have made tremendous strides towards it and that is especially evident when watching Trifles.

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