Gender Differences in Susan Glaspell's Trifles
Feminism is concerned with, the ways in which works emphasize or challenge the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women. The broader political and ideological environment of the 1900’s and the socialist feminist communities that she frequented had enormous effect on the works of Susan Glaspell. She wrote her famous play Trifles in 1916.
Women are used to worrying over Trifles, (Glaspell 957). Women always face so much difficulties regarding their gender discrimination. Glaspell’s Trifles points out about all information through the conflict and theme. In the Glaspell’s Trifles males are dominated in the society and are more superior than their wives. If we see in history then we’ll find a lot of information about the men’s potential how they treated their women’s. Even still there some communities who thinks that women are secondary to men.
In Trifles, Glaspell makes a feminist bound as she portrays her female characters with plenty cunning to secretly and simply success over male superiority. Susan Glaspell female protagonists speak in a different voice, the story they tell is one of the patriarchal dominances and oppression (Kamir, 360).
By studying Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, the women and the concept of trifles are related in literature. In this crime story female and effeminized characters are associated with personal characteristics, attitudes and behaviors, because of gender stereotypes and culturally attributed roles. The presence of a female circle determines the awareness and justice as well; it sheds light on stereotypical difference between sexes. How men and women interpret actual situation’s is influenced by their learned behaviors that explain to their stereotypical roles defined by their social realities which integrally generates beliefs and the imposing of pre-existing forms on the gender. This work illustrates the stereotypical gender differences comprehensively.
Females who are the important part of society, had not much freedom in past. They used to stay at home. They just take care of their home and children’s. They were supposed to be at home every time for doing house chores, cooking and serving to husband. They couldn’t go for working outside the house. The setting is “the kitchen in the now abandoned farmhouse of John Wright” where “signs of incomplete works” appear as unwashed pans under the sink, a loaf of bread outside the bread box, a dish towel on the table and other signs of incomplete work (Glaspell, 983). How the story begins entering of the Mr. Hale along with the Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Peter, Sheriff and County Attorney into the Wright’s all messed farmhouse kitchen. They start to find things for Mrs. Wright through their answers they question whether or not Mrs. Wright killed her husband. They assumed that because cold Mr. Wright has killed the bird so as a revenge Mrs. Wright chocked her own husband.
The County Attorney was more involved for find that what was actually happened. He wanted to solve the problem. Mr. Hales is the one when he entered the house to talk to Mrs. Wright, he found mess a lot. He was very shocked that his wife sitting on rocking chair without any emotion.
It seems that County Attorney and Sheriff have a bored view of women and their value to the society. They kind of get the women away as if they are not interesting to do this investigation instead of get the women’s possessions together, and stay busy in the kitchen things. This was the stereotypical society which wants the women to stay in kitchen and do what their husbands tell them to. In this time era, men expected women to keep the house clean and decorated according to the County Attorney in Trifles; Attorney states that, It’s not cheerful. I shouldn’t say she had the homemaking instinct (Glaspell, 1031). Men during this era think that women should only be in the house worrying about what the inside of a house should look.
Glaspell showed that how these men restricting their wives as Mr. Wright did. Before Marriage Mrs. Wright was outgoing person who became bounded at home by her lifestyle and decided to put an end to this sort of life. Unfortunately now she might be spend her remaining life in jail. She put herself out of this miserable life and unrewarding for what she could have been done. It says that she used to wear fancy and beautiful dresses and sing in the chore, until she didn’t get marry to Mr. Wright. The County Attorney and Sheriff were not so extreme as Mr. Wright had been. These men have serious attitude for women that shows that they can be same for their marriage and home as Mr. Wright and Mrs. Wright were.
In the end, this era when Glaspell wrote this play was known for being discriminated towards women’s. Women had not so much support to fight for equal rights. Men treat their wives like servants as they are only made to serve them.
In her article, Holstein refers to Trifles as a “deceptive play” (Holstein 282), and I believe that to be an excellent choice of description. Trifles only casually deceptions as a murder mystery; Glaspell has, in actual, created a fight of the sexes – a real war between men and women, so invisible and silent that not even the characters really know that it exists.
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