Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trifles

In the play "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell, the play is portrayed as valuing men over women.  Trifles, meaning a thing of little value or importance, I believe is referring to the women of the play, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters.  While the three men Mr. Henderson, the county attorney, Mr. Peters, the sheriff, and Mr. Hale, a neighbor of the Wrights, take over the most important roles in the play, the women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are just figures in the background.  Throughout the investigation of Mr. Wright's murder, the three men are the most important people in seeking out whoever committed this crime, if it was not Mr. Wright himself.  When both of the women were looking around the house to find objects to take to Mrs. Wright, they look through an old box of quilts that Mrs. Wright had made.  In this finding, they discuss whether they believe Mrs. Wright would "knot" or quilt it.  Following this discussion, Mr. Henderson makes jokes about this, entering the house saying "Have you decided whether she was going to knot or quilt it?" in a sarcastic tone, followed by a laugh.  These little details are what makes the meaning of the play so significant.  While Mr. Henderson makes fun of the women for rummaging through the quilting box, this is where the murder case gets solved, when the women find the bird in the box with its neck rung.  In finding this detail, it becomes evident that Mr. Wright had killed the bird by ringing its neck, therefore, Mrs. Wright killed her husband by ringing his neck.  When the women found this out, they did not tell the men and they pretended not to know anything about it.  I think that this was important to the play because throughout the play, the importance of men was portrayed in them being the main investigators in the case, and the women finding out what really happened was very important because it brought power to the women.  The men, being the most "important" in the play were not able to find out what happened to Mr. Wright, while the women were, symbolizing their importance in the play.

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