Trifles by Susan Glaspell

Trifles by Susan Glaspell is one of first female drama plays, which reveals the full extent, to which the society was unjust in relation to women, whereas views of men on women are superior. In such a way, the author of the play attempts to show the unjust attitude of the society to women and their role in the society. In this regard, the murder of John Wright becomes the way to reveal substantial differences between male and female worlds and to prove that women may be as successful in investigating murders as men are. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale actually reveal the fact that Minnie was the murderer but they conceal it out of sheer sense of justice and female solidarity.

What is meant here is the fact that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale view Minnie as another woman like they, who has suffered from oppression from the part of her husband. They feel the weakness of Minnie and her inability to resist to her husband and they justify her rebel against him and, therefore, his murder. At the same time, they feel that men have biased, prejudiced attitude to women and they cannot investigate the murder properly because of their biased view. To put it more precisely, they cannot see evidence that lie on the surface, such as the dead canary and they are glad that they can hide this evidence:

My, it’s a good thing the men couldn’t hear us. Wouldn’t they just laugh! Getting all stirred up over a little thing like a – dead canary. As if that could have anything to do with-with””wouldn’t they laugh! (Glasell, 175). However, it is obvious that, even if they showed the canary to men, they would hardly be able to understand the significance of this evidence. In this regard, the author reveals the different way of thinking of men and women, while men feel their superiority in relation to women and the author justifies actions of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters by their attempt to let men to manifest their superiority. In fact, the society they lived in admitted that men are superior to women and are superior to women. Therefore, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale just let men manifest their superiority.

In this regard, it is possible to refer to distinguish the areas, where men and women dominated. Therefore, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters concealed the evidence because they did not want men interfere in the female area. To put it more precisely, the kitchen is one of the female areas. For instance, the sheriff says “Nothing here but kitchen things” (Glaspell, 133). Instead, Mrs. Hale says “I’d hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing” (Glaspell, 143). The canary is found in Minnie’s sewing box, which is definitely not the place men would look for evidence of the crime. Therefore, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters just protect the areas, which they take as their own, which are sacred areas for them and letting men in these areas would be not just a mere violation of social rules and norms but also their personal offense as women.

Thus, taking into account the historical background and social and traditions of that time, actions of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters can be justified.

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