The Role of Women in "Trifles" Analytical Essay by scribbler

The Role of Women in "Trifles"
An analysis of the role of women in Susan Glaspell's play, "Trifles," and how it is signified by the feminine essentials of home.
# 152457 | 1,358 words | 5 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Feb 15, 2013 in Drama and Theater (American) , Literature (American) , Women Studies (General)

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The paper discusses how the everyday items that women are familiar with - items associated with cooking, cleaning and sewing - represent the condescending male view of women in Susan Glaspell's play, "Trifles". The paper explains how the men associate women as being frivolous and unimportant, and thus they overlook the most obvious evidence of what caused Mrs. Wright to kill her husband. The paper shows how "Trifles" is much more than a murder mystery; it is a statement about how men need to take women more seriously.

From the Paper:

"Several times throughout the play, the author Susan Glaspell, refers to the women's desire to refocus their attention on "familiar things" as opposed to the daunting details of the murder. Ironically, it is these "familiar things" that actually hold the clues to the answers the men or so fervently searching for upstairs. The women clearly associate the essentials of the homemaker as a feminine source of comfort. For example, Mrs. Peters, who is gathering items to bring to Mrs. Wright in jail, remarks "She said she wanted an apron. Funny thing to want, for there isn't much to get you dirty in jail, goodness knows. But I suppose just to make her feel more natural." The unfinished cleaning, the bread and fruit that were not taken care of, the "nervous" sewing on the quilt - all of these everyday household items that men so easily overlook provide evidence about Mrs. Wright's state of mind before the murder. Therefore they are not "trifles" as the men assume, but are actually quite important.
"The implication here is that men see the items associated with women as being trifling and insignificant when, in fact, they are not. Thus if they were willing to look a little more closely, they may also come to realize that women are far more significant and valuable than they assume."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Carroll, V. and Gailey, J. (1992) Using Literature to Teach about Bureaucratic Structure, College Teaching. 40(1), 24-26.
  • Glaspell, S. (1916) Trifles, New York: Washington Square Players.
  • Koprince, S. (2006). The narrow house: Glaspell's Trifles and Wharton's Ethan Frome. In Disclosing Intertextualities: The Stories, Plays, and Novels of Susan Glaspell. M.C. Carpentier & B. Ozieblo, eds. Amsterdam: Rodopi .
  • Mael, P. (1989) Trifles: The path to sisterhood." Literature Film Quarterly 17(4), 281-284.
  • Spalter-Roth, B. (1975, February 28) Trifles and Overtones. Off Our Backs. 5 (2). 18-22.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Role of Women in "Trifles" (2013, February 15) Retrieved February 26, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Role of Women in "Trifles"" 15 February 2013. Web. 26 February. 2020. <>