Gender In Trifles

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In the play, “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, a woman named Mrs. Wright is being held in custody for the murder of her husband John Wright. John Wright was found strangled to death while he was sleeping right next to Mrs Wright, but claims she did not hear or see anything. The sheriff Henry Peters, and the county attorney George Henderson find this hard to believe. They search high and low in hopes of finding evidence that could prove Mrs. Wright guilty of murder. The sheriff and the county attorney bring along two other women who are permitted to gather a few things for Mrs. Wright while she is being held in jail, as long as the materials are irrelevant to the case. The two women are Mrs. Hale, which is her neighbor, and Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s…show more content…
The entire play takes place during the freezing winter time, on a farmhouse owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wright. The setting reflects on the time era it was written in. Trifles was written in 1916, a time when women did not have many rights and men were still the dominant gender. The underlying idea of the play is the fact that women are underestimated intellectually and domain wise because of their gender. Women were only considered dominant when it came to the kitchen, taking care of the house, and nurturing for the children. Similarly, much of the play is described to be in the kitchen. The men conduct the investigation everywhere in the house, except for the kitchen, where the women are the domain. The author uses simple yet useful clues throughout the setting to create suspense during the investigation of Mr. Wright’s murder. The men tend to bypass the little things around the setting, while the women are much more observant with noticing and talking about the small details around the house. The women were in a setting where they felt familiar with, and was also within their comfort zone. This goes to show that since the play took place in the kitchen where the women feel more dominant, they were able to solve the mystery more effectively than the men. The men should not have pushed them away from their own environment. Instead, they should have involved them in the investigation because they knew their way around a woman’s kitchen. The second key element in the setting was the fact that it took place in the extremely cold weather. This aspect of the setting helped project how Mrs. Wright felt isolated and cold. Mrs. Hale explains how difficult it is to be the wife of a farmer and mentions the very cold winters, the lonely days, and all the tough work that needs to be done around the farmhouse. It further connects to Mrs. Wright’s state of

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