It was written based on real events. When Glaspell was a reporter, she covered a murder case in a small town in Iowa. Later, she wrote this short play which was inspired by her investigation and what she observed. Glaspell used irony, symbolism, and setting in her creation of the authentic American drama, “Trifles”, to express life for women in a male-dominated society in the early nineteen hundreds.
Glaspell identifies the inferiority of women by using body language throughout this play. From the very beginning, they are in some ways timid where they stand. The women stand close together. The women enter kitchen and stand close together near the door (Glaspell, 2011).
As the drama within the play escalates, and each time the men criticize Mrs. Wright, the women tend to move even closer together. This portrayal of body language by women throughout this play is Glaspell’s way of showing the bond of women and their understanding of how they are viewed by men.
Trifles are most commonly described as things of little or no importance or things with little or no value. Most men viewed women as trifles, along with the little hobbies they enjoyed, or items that were special to them. Mrs. Wright had many items that were special to her along with her hobbies within the kitchen and the hobby of quilting, as did other women during the early nineteen hundreds, yet to the men, these things were considered trifles. Glaspell clearly shows the inferior position of women in early twentieth-century America as well as the differences between men and women.
Women and Men Communicate Differently The process of neo-Liberal dogmas, such as celebration of diversity and elimination of sexism, being showed up peoples throats, brought about a situation, when employment policies correspond less and less to the objective reality of interaction between genders at workplace. Men and women are expected to execute their professional duties with the same ...
Dramatic irony within “Trifles” is displayed in the play as the women find the evidence of the murder that would help to prove that Mrs. Wright was the one who killed her husband, but they would never tell the men. In this era, the women were always going along with the men in what they said, even if they did not agree with them. This was what women had always done, and were expected to do. The men felt they were superior to the women. They felt the women should not have the right to vote, nor have a say so in every day decisions.
Therefore, in this case, the women stuck together because they felt the need to take up for one another. At times, they felt sorry for one another, especially Mrs. Wright, and the way she was treated. It was Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters who took note of Mrs. Wright’s trifles within the kitchen. The sheriff, the attorney, and the neighbor boast about their abilities to problem solve. They portray themselves to be great detectives. The men belittled the women about the little things they were looking at because they were womanly and within the woman’s domain, the kitchen.
The men spent more time in other areas of the house looking for things of more significance. Little did they know, they were only hurting themselves by overlooking some very important clues that would help them solve the murder. The women make the decision together to withhold the information they find from the men, thinking the men probably wouldn’t listen to their thoughts anyway. During this period of time, very few women had paying jobs. Those who didn’t were not recognized for doing anything worthwhile for their society, especially like doing the job of the men, which was to find out who killed Mr.
Wright. The women felt if they did tell the men what they found, the men would take the credit for solving this crime. Throughout history, the woman’s role was to be a respectful and obedient wife. The woman’s main duty was to support and serve her husband, and live for him and their children. The men in this play feel that the women are not good thinkers and cannot begin to harm any of their investigative work. This withholding of evidence was to some extent the women’s way of doing just this. Yet, it was also the women’s way of being loyal to their gender.
Analysis Of Poem ‘ Woman To Man' By Analysis Of Poem ‘ Woman To Man' By Judith Wright The author of this text is the Australian poet Judith Wright. The title of this text is Woman To Man. The form of this text is a poem. The visual appearance of the text on the page indicates to us that it is a poem: it is positioned in the centre of the page and it is made up of uniform sections, or ...
It made the women feel superior to the men as they were able to solve the mystery, and the men were not. At the end of the play the county attorney makes a sarcastic comment to Mr. Hale that at least they found out Mrs. Wright was not going to quilt it, and asked the ladies what they called it. Ms. Hale, holding the bird in her pocket, answered and told him that they called it – knot it (Glaspell, 2011).
The title of the play “Trifles” is a major symbol of how men viewed women in the early nineteen hundreds, something small, and of little value or importance.
One of the examples of trifles within the play is the bird in the cage which symbolized Mrs. Wright and the life not only she had to live, but other women faced during this time as well. Women, as well as Mrs. Wright, felt caged in her own homes, and some were not able to associate with their friends. Women had no right to vote, or have a say so as to anything except what went on inside the home as far as cleaning, cooking, sewing, and tending to their children. The stove fire symbolizes Mr. and Mrs. Wrights’ relationship. The fire had gone out of their relationship.
The stove fire going out made the house freezing cold, and caused the jars of preserves she had worked so hard on, to crack and break. These jars represented the warm and caring life that Mrs. Wright longed for. When the house turned cold, as did her relationship, the jars would crack and break, just as Mrs. Wright’s emotions, leading her to murder her husband. All of the jars were broken with the exception of one, which seemed to have represented Mrs. Wright’s hope for a new start; the start she’d have after Mr. Wright was no longer in her life. The unevenly sewn stitches on the quilt block that Mrs.
Hale and Mrs. Peters found symbolized Mrs. Wrights’ emotional and mental state at the time when she was nervous about what she was going to do. As her thoughts centered on what Mr. Wright had done to her bird and the thoughts of committing the act of murder set in, the stitches became more loose and uneven on the quilt block. The men just made fun of the ladies looking at quilt pieces and the stitches, not thinking that any clues could be found from something that a woman found interesting. The rope Mrs. Wright used for the murder made her feel powerful and somewhat equal to, and not below her husband any longer.
The story revels how the institution of marriage in the 19 th century still reflects the 21 st century. Mrs. Mallard was not happy at all in ther marriage, but she stayed because back then divorce was unheard of. Mrs. Mallard was saddened by her husband's death, but on the other hand she was happy because now she could be free and do all of the things that sh wanted to do. The 19 th century ...
The rope made her feel strong. The bird gave back to Mrs. Wright something that she was missing in her lonely life. She missed singing in the choir since this was not allowed by her husband, Mr. Wright. She would sing with the bird, and this annoyed Mr. Wright. The one thing that gave her the little bit of joy she had in her life was now gone. Mr. Wright had strangled her companion, her pet bird. Mrs. Wright had put up with this treatment far too long, and now she was going to be strong enough to rebel against her husband. The notion of a party telephone symbolizes the question of justice.
Mr. Wright did not want his wife communicating with others. In the end, Mrs. Hale realizes that Mr. Wright has committed the greatest crime, the crime of cutting his wife off from communicating and understanding others. Mrs. Wright brings justice for herself. The name, Mrs. Minnie Wright, is a symbol in itself. Within Minnie, is the word “mini” which is what the men of this time thought of the women and their trifles. Minnie’s last name, Wright, symbolizes what women want during this time, a “right” to have a say so in life, a “right” to be heard, and the “right” to vote.
This also implies Minnie’s “right” to free herself from what society felt was her husband’s “right” to be a controlling husband. Then, when you put the two names together, you have Minnie Wright which symbolizes the minimal right that women had during the 1900’s. The setting of “Trifles” is a reflection of women’s emotions during this male-dominated time in the early nineteen hundreds. The particulars of the setting in this play provide clues for solving who killed Mr. Wright. Glaspell uses minimal but helpful elements in the setting to create suspense as the mission is made to solve the murder that happened on the Wright farm.
The play takes place on a farm, one winter night when the temperatures had dropped below zero. Glaspell uses this setting to show the attitude of Mr. & Mrs. Wright’s lives on the farm. Mrs. Hale describes Mr. Wright as “a raw wind that gets to the bone” (Glaspell, 2011 p. 1717).
... is an example of how the men considered what the women were doing of no importance. Mrs. Wright had requested a few things from ... once in the play to indicate how the men think of what the women. are doing in the kitchen while the men are trying to ... significance or value (The American Heritage Dictionary). The play opens in Minnie Wright's kitchen. Minnie's husband has been murdered, he was ...
This winter setting plays a big influence to the characters attitudes and events within the play. The lifelessness environment during the season of winter portrayed the lifelessness of emotions that Mrs. Wright, as well as other women during this time, experienced in their own homes.
On this cold winter night the cold penetrated the house and caused Mrs. Wright’s canned preserves to burst. Similarly, Mr. Wright was described as being cold, thus causing Mrs. Wright’s emotional state of being, due to her husband’s coldness, to burst just like the preserves. The loneliness that Mrs. Wright had within this house and this relationship placed her under a lot of pressure. This pressure caused her to burst out of her normality and murder her husband. The physical setting of the farm within the lonely hollow goes right along with the lonely feeling Mrs. Wright had on this farm.
She and her husband would work hard all day. She would be busy inside the house, and he would be working hard on the outside, “there’s a great deal of work to be done on a farm” (Glaspell, 2011 p. 1713).
At the end of the day when Mr. Wright would come in, he would show her no attention therefore, she was still lonely. This loneliness went even further than her house on the farm, it extended to her neighbors. Mrs. Wright’s husband did not want her to have companionship with anyone. Mrs. Hale even comments that, “We live close together and we live far apart” (Glaspell, 2011 p. 1718).
Wright did not like companionship. It was made mention that even if Mr. Wright would have let Mrs. Wright have companionship, she still may have been lonely, and had no visitors, due to the fact that with the farm being down in the hollow, one could not even see the road. Mrs. Hale even comments that she did not visit Mrs. Wright due to the fact that her house never seemed like a cheerful place, and because of the tension that was within it due to Mr. Wright. Even when party telephones were made available, Mr. Wright told Mr. Hale he did not want to go in with him on a party telephone.
He didn’t think they needed one, not due to money, but due to the fact that, “folks talk too much anyway” (Glaspell, 2011, 1711).
This is how men wanted it for women during this time, secluded from anything but the home and the work that should be done. The men felt that the women should be working instead of gossiping and doing things of less importance than the work that needed to be done inside the home. Even more important than the seasonal setting of winter and the physical setting of the farm being in the lonely hollow, was the physical setting of the kitchen that Glaspell uses as the setting for the stage of the play.
... killed that too" (Glaspell 1337). Mrs. Wright was not the only oppressed figure in the play. When the men are looking through the house ... crime, they notice the women concerning themselves with "trifles." For example, they notice that some of Mrs. Wright's jars of preserves ... spot. The incomplete kitchen work to the men seems like the work of an inept housekeeper, but the women understand this to show ...
During the play, the sheriff, the attorney, and the neighbor move about the house trying to solve the mystery; the two women stay in one place, the kitchen, looking for clues. During this time, the woman’s place was mainly inside the home in the kitchen. It is in the kitchen where Mrs. Wright feels trapped and spends the majority of her time during the day. It is also where Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters remain throughout the entire play. The characteristics within the kitchen were gloomy just like the hollow. Mrs.
Wright’s kitchen was not in order, just as her life was not in order. There were unwashed pans, bread out of the bread box, and a dirty dish towel. The men are quick to criticize Mrs. Wrights housekeeping skills. The men during this time did not give credit to the women for the hard labor they performed daily within the home. The men in the play were so busy looking for clues everywhere else, they did not analyze the fact that the untidiness of her kitchen might have been due to the emotional state of Mrs. Wright. Something had triggered her emotions, possibly Mr.
Wright’s strangling of the bird, making her stop what she was doing in her kitchen, and therefore, she was not able to finish her bread, or finish tidying up her kitchen. The men were blind to taking this into consideration. The men do not feel that there is anything of importance within the kitchen, not even the women when they were in it. The men are not comfortable within the kitchen, as this was the place for a woman. This caused them to miss out on finding the clues that were in the kitchen, thus, they missed out on solving the murder mystery. Through “Trifles”, Glaspell presents the moral predicament Mrs.
Peters and Mrs. Hale were in, and the way in which Mrs. Wright’s trifles brings to light the consciousness of both of them, especially Mrs. Peters, taking them from knowing what actually happened, getting upset about it, and then taking action upon it (Mael,1989).
The Essay on "His Talk, Her Talk" By Joyce Maynard And "Man To Man, Woman To Woman" By Mark A. Sherman
When I look at the topic male-female communication, the first thing that comes up to my mind is that man and woman must have a very good communication, because there are only men and women in the world. But as I think a little bit deeper, there is something different between a man and a woman, different types of talking styles, different ways of thinking, and different point of views. For instance ...
In the beginning of the play, Ms. Peters, due to being the sheriff’s wife, tends to side with the men in the play. As Mrs. Hale talks about how the men locked Mrs. Wright up in jail, and now they are sneaking around in her house, Mrs. Peters responds, “the law is the law” (Glaspell, 2011, p 1715).
Again, when Mrs. Hale is upset that the men are making fun of them taking up time with the little things in the kitchen while waiting on them to get the evidence they came looking for, Mrs. Peters comes to the men’s defense again, “they’ve got awful important things on their minds” (Glaspell, 2011, p 1715).
And then again when Mrs. Hale notices the unevenly sewn stitches and starts pulling them out in order to redo them, Mrs. Peters says that she didn’t feel like they ought to touch things (Glaspell, 2011).
As Mrs. Peters further listens to Mrs. Hales’ recollection of Mrs.
Wright, it triggers memories of loneliness within her past that somewhat relates to Mrs. Wright’s loneliness and how she must have felt during this time in her life. It is at this time when Mrs. Peters begins to see Mrs. Hales’ point of view make sense. Then together they determine with the evidence they have found, the women, have solved the murder mystery. Within this play, Glaspell also shows the dissimilarity of women’s actions around men and amongst themselves. When the men are around, the women are silent, as they were expected to be during this time, unless they were spoken to.
When the women are left alone in the kitchen while the men are investigating upstairs and at the barn, the women talk amongst themselves freely, allowing them to quickly solve the murder mystery. Although these women were initially strangers, they become silent conspirators in destroying the evidence (Spalter-Roth, 1975).
The evidence that it was indeed Mrs. Wright who strangled her husband, but this they would not tell to the men. In conclusion, “Trifles”, written to express life for women in a male-dominated society using irony, symbolism, and setting, was able to open up the eyes of many to the capabilities of women in that era.
Glaspell shows within this play how being aware of, or having consciousness of, things that happen that one does not know about, could and would inspire women to take actions together which they most likely could or would not take individually. She portrays how as women share their emotions and experiences of their lives, they can act with a new and different respect for the importance of their lives as a woman. This respect is different from, but certainly equal to that of a man (Mael, 1989).
The men’s irrelevance in the play and their failure to be able to solve the murder stands out within this play.