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Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay Analysis


The play Trifles by Susan Glaspell centers on a murder investigation. In the one-act play, the audience can see the male officers doing the investigation around the house of Mrs. Wright (the primary suspect) as they brought their wives into the house to collect clothes for her. Throughout the play, the audience can infer how the males in the story look at women. They belittle the women’s abilities by dismissing that women are all used to “worrying about trifles” and nothing significant. Because of that prejudice, they don’t realize that the women are doing their own, more comprehensive investigation.

The officers’ prejudicial attitude toward the women unconsciously united the women. It should be noted that the women never call each other by their first names, probably because they are not well acquainted with each other. But when the women heard the men’s offensive remarks about how women are with “trifle things” and kitchen work, they literally moved closer together. This in indicative of their decision to not tell the men about their findings in the house: the dead canary in the sewing box; because, they want to protect Mrs. Wright, a member of their own sex, who most probably suffered the same offensive and dismissive attitude from her husband, leading her to kill him. It should also be noted that Mrs. Wright is symbolized by the canary: she was a vibrant woman before she was married, but when she got caged because of marriage, she was subdued and subsequently killed (figuratively) because of restrictions as a woman.

Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. American Literature Research and Analysis Website, n.d., Web. 23 Sept 2011.

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