The Real Detectives: Susan Glaspell's "Trifles" Analytical Essay by Kimberly

The Real Detectives: Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"
This essay explores gender inequalities of the early 20th century as depicted by Susan Glaspell's play "Trifles".
# 154065 | 1,660 words | 5 sources | 2014 | US
Published on Nov 06, 2014 in English (Analysis) , English (General) , Women Studies (Women and Society)


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Description:

Playwrights build plays just as a bird builds her nest. It is the female canary that fashions the nest, just as it is the women in Susan Glaspell's one-act play, Trifles, that preserve their homes (Murton 120). Taking place, in its entirety, in a mid-western farmhouse kitchen, this relatively short work displays, through creative use of literary techniques, dramatic structure, and dynamic character figures, the gender inequalities of the early twentieth century.

From the Paper:

"Playwrights build plays just as a bird builds her nest. It is the female canary that fashions the nest, just as it is the women in Susan Glaspell's one-act play, Trifles, that preserve their homes (Murton 120). Taking place, in its entirety, in a mid-western farmhouse kitchen, this relatively short work displays, through creative use of literary techniques, dramatic structure, and dynamic character figures, the gender inequalities of the early twentieth century.
"The first action of the play takes place after it has been discovered that, Mr. Wright, one half of the couple that occupied the farmhouse, has been murdered in his bed. The main character, Mrs. Wright, is introduced through the retelling of how Mr. Hale discovered Mr. Wright. Although Mrs. Wright is the main focus of the play, she never appears on stage. Her dialogue is recounted by Mr. Hale. Mr. Hale describes the way in which he came upon Mrs. Wright to a few local townspeople and officials. Those who have come to investigate the murder include the County Attorney, the Sheriff and his wife, Mrs. Peters, and Mr. and Mrs. Hale. The women come along to gather some of Mrs. Wright's belongings since she has been taken to jail as a suspect of the murder.
"Obvious disparity between genders is prevalent in the majority of the characters actions. The men speak degradingly to the women with no reserve, even though they are in their presence, and often laugh at their ideas. The County Attorney says, "I guess before we're through she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about" (Glaspell 1399). Many times throughout the play the men refer to the women's concerns as "trifles." Hale replies, "Well, women are used to worrying over trifles" (Glaspell 1399). This line is where the title of the play comes from. The men do not attempt to hide the fact that they have such little regard for the women and their opinions. When Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale wonder aloud whether Mrs. Wright was planning to quilt or knot the log cabin pattern she was in the midst of making, the men dissolve into laughter. They do not presume the women could be useful to the investigation, nor do they consider the possibility that their wives could impede the investigation."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Works Cited
  • Cummings, Michael J. "Susan Glaspell's Trifles: a Study Guide." Cummings Study Guides.
  • Grit Publishing, 2008. Web. 12 May 2010.
  • < HYPERLINK "http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides5/Trifles.html" http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides5/Trifles.html >.
  • Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Boston, MA: Thomas Higher Education, 2006. 1397-1406. Print.

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The Real Detectives: Susan Glaspell's "Trifles" (2014, November 06) Retrieved September 16, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-real-detectives-susan-glaspell-trifles-154065/

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"The Real Detectives: Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"" 06 November 2014. Web. 16 September. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-real-detectives-susan-glaspell-trifles-154065/>

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