English Comp. II 1 November 2011 Trifles Analysis Susan Glaspell wrote the play Trifles in 1916. The play/story emulates the author’s thoughts on discrepancies concerning preconceived notions of gender. According to Dictionary.
com the exact definition of trifle is “Something of little importance or value”. The title of the play suggests that the concerns of women are too often considered minute and negligible affairs, irrelevant to a male dominant society. The issue in question is the circumstantial worth (or worthlessness) of female, intellectual contribution to male ambience. The account is introduced at the scene of the crime.
The three men involved in the investigation of the murder at hand are making a naive and ignorant attempt to find evidence of murder and motive. Due to the negligence of these male officials the disregarded women left downstairs find the evidence. The women are left in the kitchen where there are “nothing but kitchen things”. This comment is made in response to the conclusion drawn by the sheriff that there is “nothing important” in the kitchen, “nothing that would point to any motive”.
The Sheriff laughs when the women express that maybe the frozen preserves have some meaning. The husband of one of the women, Mr.Hale, supportively states “women are used to worrying over trifles”. The overlooked significance of these feminine case factors can be associated with Ben-Zvi’s reference to quilting and it’s seldom acknowledged complexity due to its designation to female craft (364). The presence of Mr. and Mrs.
Hale play a significant role in the representation of gender unity. It is clear that the allegiance of Mr. Hale lies with his male companions and not with his wife. Mrs.
Hale identifies with this exact principal in reverse. The opportunity to easily resolve the at hand issue is abated simply by ill prioritization of alliance. Whether or not Mr.Hale’s initiation, by condescension, of the matter is taken into consideration determines whether fault lies with both parties or him alone. The behavior of the men in “trifles” ultimately has a reverse effect on their female counterparts. Not only do they fail to solve the murder case, they empower the women by creating the opportunity to maneuver undetected while sabotaging the investigation.
Susan Glaspell cleverly delivered the male characters in her story to the readers as “trifles”. Works Cited: Ben-Zvi, Linda. “Murder She Wrote: The Genesis of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles. ” University of California Press 29/09/2011.
Pgs. 357-359, 364