The definition of “trifle” is “a thing of little value or importance.” I think this is an ironic title for the play that Mr. Wann presented to us. In the performance, when one of the women claimed that Mrs. Wright was more concerned about her jars of preserves bursting from the cold than being convicted for her husband’s murder, one of the men makes a comment about women only worrying about “trifles.” This is ironic because while the men tried to piece together the murder of Mr. Wright, it is the women who found the real evidence by taking notice of what the men refer to as “trifles.” While looking at her quilt to see how she was planning on finishing it, the women discovered that Mrs. Wright’s beloved bird had been killed, its neck snapped. Because he was very abusive to his wife for years, the women knew that it had to have been Mr. Wright that killed the bird that his wife loved. They knew that this was the motive that pushed Mrs. Wright to strangle her husband with a rope, killing him the same way he killed her bird. The irony throughout the progression of this play is extremely prominent, because the women find what the men have been looking for by concerning themselves with what the men think have little importance. Then, the women decide to keep the evidence they found for the murder a secret from the men.
Another aspect of the play that stuck out to me was the stereotypical gender roles. I remember one of the actor’s saying that they wouldn’t be able to survive without women, who do all of the cooking and cleaning. Mr. Wann’s wife talked to us afterwards about how much work it truly was to be a farm wife, and how they had no labor-saving devices to help them. Despite all of the work that they did, it was not considered true “work.” I think this point can be related to the wage gap that still exists today. Women who are equally qualified and are doing the same work as men are still being paid lower salaries. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women earn only 80% of what male counterparts are earning. Last week, we learned from Mr. Ogden’s presentation that women are earning more college degrees than men. However, according to the American Association of University Women, education is not a solution to the wage gap between genders. While more education leads to increased earnings overall, there is still a gap at every level of academic achievement. In the play Trifles, we learned that women worked extremely hard, all with their own hands, and often were not given credit for actually “working.” In a different way, because of the wage gap that still exists today, women are still not being given full credit for the work they do.