Irony of Small Trifles In the drama Trifles, Glaspell shows two main view points. That is how the men have the role of being the head of everything and how the women do not get as fairly treated and are only house maids to the men. She characterizes the men as not giving the women the credit they deserve for their hard labors each and everyday. The sheriff, attorney, and neighboring farmer help prove how in the past men were completely superior to women. By showing these two points it makes us feel more sympathetic for the women because of how they are treated. The women always have to go along with what the men tell them, even if they disagree.
Since the men are distinguished from the women, the women form their own alliance because they feel empathy for each other. The men and women have seemed to of taken sides against each other. And by the men always hassling the women about their trifles, they are actually working against themselves because the women decide not to give them the information needed to solve the case. The first view that Glaspell gives in Trifles is that the men are far superior or higher than the women. The men in Trifles show the expected character as we would hear about in the past before women had the rights they do now. The attorney displays this past male figure the best.
He is always looking down on the women. For example, in the start he says “This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies.” (1249) This shows how he feels the need to tell or allow the women to come to the fire as if they were not able to do it on their own. He also shows this when he says, “Here’s a nice mess.” (1250) commenting about the house and then says “Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” (1251) This exemplifies how he expects the women to take care of the house and that it should always be spotless. At this point in the story the attorney gets into an argument with the ladies who try to defend Mrs. Wright.
Steven FiorilloThe thesis of this paper is to prove that the title of Susan Glaspell's play "Trifles" represents how men considered women's duties and their opinions to be of little importance compared to a man's role in society. The dictionary defines the word trifle as something of little importance or value, or to deal with something as if it were of little significance or value (The American ...
They prove their point in that it is not right for a man to come into a house and complain about the mess when Mrs. Wright did not have time to clean it. The sheriff also displays this hierarchy of men over women. He follows what the attorney says “I suppose anything Mrs. Peters does ” ll be all right.” (1251) Showing that there is not much as harm she could do with that area of the house as if she is a little child. The sheriff also states a very sarcastic phrase about the women saying “They wonder if she is going to quilt it or knit it!” (1253) Showing how he is much more superior to them because he is looking for evidence for a big murder case, and all the women can do is talk about quilting.
As he says this all the men laugh. Later on as the men come back from getting the fire wood, the attorney also says “Well, ladies, have you decided whether she was going to quilt it or knot it?” (1255) So the men must think the women are insignificant because they still think they are really discussing this subject. The only male in this story that does not seem to feel any hierarchy over the women is the neighboring farmer. He keeps to himself most of the time and does not really take part in putting down the women with their own ways.
He does state one remark though that shows he still thinks a little more of himself than of the women. When the women said how Mrs. Wright was worried about her preserves. The sheriff states, “Well, you can beat a women! Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves.” (1251) And Mr.
Hale follows saying “Well, women are use to worrying about trifles.” (1251) Meaning how women worry to much about unimportant things. This making the women seem even more insignificant and useless in dealing with the case. The other view that Glaspell shows in this play is a sympathy that the reader grows for the women. How they are forced to follow the men.
... women hid this crucial evidence from the men because they could relate to how Minnie Foster must have felt at the time. Mrs. Peters ... killing. Instead of acknowledging the fact that Minnie Foster committe murder, she looks past this and inquires what could possibly ... the contrasts in the way women and men conduct themselves. By dividing the men and women in the story and observing the outcome of ...
Like when they are asked to get close to the fire, they do it even though Mrs. Peters says “I’m not cold.” (1249) They have to deal with all sorts of mockery like when the men mock them about the house, the fruit, and the quilt. One of the last phrases that is said by the attorney really shows how bad we can feel for them. When he says “Oh, I guess they ” re not very dangerous things the ladies have picked out. No, Mrs. Peters doesn’t need supervising.
For that matter a sheriff’s wife is married to the law. Ever think of it that way Mrs. Peters?” (1256) Mrs. Peters is very offended and replays, “Not — just that way.” (1256) So this shows how the women get very frustrated when the men talk to them.
Once again the women seem to take their own side against the men, and we can really notice this when they find the bird. We can tell that the women do not plan to tell the men by how they always get quiet about the subject when the men come around. Mrs. Hale even feels guilty by when she say “I might of known she needed help! I know how things can be for women.” (1256) She says this because she feels she could of came over and gave her company instead having a bird for a friend.
So this guilt proves how the women are going to stick together, even more since the murder, and never tell the truth of the matters. At the end of Trifles we do not really know what happens. I do not think the women will tell on each other because they are sharing the same feelings. The women are loyal to each other and more so to women than mankind. The men in this story show a great deal of non-feminism and have a huge sense of superiority over the women. The women are the victims of this play not the man who is murdered.
I think that Glaspell has proved this irony in this story. The women do not even have first names in the story so how could they be at the same standards as the men. In the men’s eyes the women are inferior to them. So they are to ignorant to realize that the case is solved by the women who notice the small trifles. For the men’s actions the women decide not to share their information to protect a friend, with this irony the men will never solve this insignificant murder case in the story.
The differences among people somehow create a bond of affection or even simple empathy among those who share similarities. This is true for those who belong to the same racial and ethnic backgrounds, religion, nationality, and gender. Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles, explores the tie that binds women together; a conspiracy which comes into play in defense of a member who experiences a slight from a ...
Works Cited — — Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed.
Michael Meyer. 7 th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. 1044.