Susan Glaspell’s one-act play, Trifles (1917), takes place in the Wright’s country farmhouse as the men of the play, the County attorney, the Sheriff, and Mr. Hale search for evidence about the identity and the motive of the murder. Susan Glaspell attempts to represent one of the disputable subjects in men-women relationship, and that is the struggle between men and women through the murder investigation of the character of Mr. Wright. The struggle between men and women is in the form of the behavioral differences between the two genders and their different views on the same subjects: the investigation, the murder, and the motive of the murderess. Back in the early 1900’s, women had little power, minimal social impact and were not appreciated very much for the work that they did. Men saw their wives as objects that they owned and took them for granted. Susan Glaspell’s Trifles represents the subject of male prejudices against women. From this idea follows, that female solidarity of female characters of the play is justified. [BR]
Clearly, the struggle between men and women is in the form of the behavioral differences between the two genders and their different views on the same subjects. As the play a progress, Susan Glaspell wants spectators to think about woman, her unequal rights in society and her position concerning the husband. Since the beginning of time, women have been looked down upon by men. Women have been considered “dumb” and were even looked at as a form of property. In Trifles, the unequal position of women in society of early 1990s is shown to an unusual extent through the abundance of inanimate images. Women, in the early 1900s, struggled to break the stereotype formed by society, while men/husband physically and emotionally abused them. The title of the play is Trifles and the play abounds with images, imperceptible at first sight and expressed in delicate style. In particular, everyone can draw a conclusion on position of women and their social opportunities, observing a site of female characters during the play: it is the kitchen with no moving, no progress and only once they go to the other room. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters were able to move in defined space only. Therefore, the spectator can imagine discrimination of women and their rights even in the image of a site of female characters on continuation of the play. In addition, there are other images in Trifles, which show the little power and low impact of women at the early 1990s. Each reader can become interested in the image of success of investigation of the female characters, which is opposed to the investigation of man''s characters, because women have found evidences and motive of murder while men were unable to find and understand the same. “Of course they''ve got awful important things on their minds”, says Mrs. Peters [apologetically], when women found one to first clues and men laugh over it. [BR]
Another aspect that proves that the play is about the struggles between men and women is that Susan Glaspell’s Trifles represents a subject of man''s prejudices against women and female opinion even by adventure line. This adventure line of man’s prejudices against women exists constantly in the play. However, men never find the clues, which lead them to find the motive of the murder. Instead of it, their wives were those who find out the necessary evidences and who in a condition to make it because of their various ways to imagine and think. The timid and overlooked women, who appear in the beginning of the play as frugal standing near the door, become the delicate detectives, who discounted by men, discover all of the clues that display a Minnie to be the murderess of her husband. Women’s attention to “trifles” is one of the important images in the play. The male investigators need to find, as Mrs. Peters says, “a motive; something to show anger, or – sudden feeling”. Yet the men never see tven sewing on a quilt Minnie Wright was working before the murder. The quilt is an image of Minnie’s excitement – her perturbation. Men laugh over the women’ wondering about the quilt because these trifles have little importance. Likewise, men have dismissed the bird and its cage easily. In fact, the men just as easily believe a lie about this bird and cage.
When the cage has noticed, its broken door overlooked, the County attorney asks, “Has the bird flown?” Mrs. Peters replies that the “cat got it”. There is actually no such cat and the affirmation of Mrs. Hale that there is no cat have sufficed County attorney. The bird, however, is vital to the case. Mr. Wright killed the bird, Minnie''s chirl bird, which may have provoked her to kill him. On the other hand, women take note of all they see. They notice not only the bird, the cage, and the quilt, but also other things that the men call “trifles”, like Minnie''s frozen preserves and her request to bring her the apron and the shawl. Consequently, men act in a partisan spirit over women’ ability to overlook the evidences and at that time men do not pay attention to trifles as Mr. Hale said, women are used to worrying over trifles. [BR]
Furthermore, what proves that the play is the struggle between men and women is the idea of man’s prejudices against women follows, that female solidarity of female characters of the play is justified. One may conclude that women take note of all they see - it appears from the adventure line, all evidences and all their limited movements they do together. In the opening of the play, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters stand close together near the door; they bounded emotionally and physically together through play progress. One may observe, as the play progresses, the union of women in all what they do. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale also have soul-mate feelings for Minnie. They understand that work of the housewife is an uneasy work. Mrs. Hale defence Minnie when County attorney prejudiced her housekeeping proficiency. The women demonstrate their correctness to each other and their compassion to Minnie, her life and her situation. Mrs. Hale says that she wishes to come over to see Minnie Foster sometimes, because she rap to Minnie, because Minnie have no children: it is less work, but it “makes a quiet house”. Mrs. Peters can make common cause with loneliness and grief of loss somebody, who you love. It understands, "what stillness is ", and Mrs. Hale knows that there pass women, “all go through the same things—it’s just a different kind of the same thing.” Consequently, women-characters are united and even hides the canary died body from men: “We call it--knot it, Mr. Henderson” said Mrs. Hale when her hand against her pocket, that canary is inside it. [BR]
From theses and explanations in this composition, do not remain doubts, that Susan Glaspell verbally shows this behavioural difference and demonstrates the struggle of women and men through the characters actions and the turns of adventure line of the play. The playwright verbally seeks to show to the audience that women and men separated in way of evidence search, in the way of thinking, in the space of action and movements. The existence of male prejudices against women and women’ opinion in society like at early 20th century is justifiable and the vice versa is right proved by Susan Glaspell in her play Trifles. Indeed, female solidarity of female characters of the Susan Glaspell’s Trifles is justified, of what we are constantly convinced. Finally, the existence and connection of all these ideas lead the spectator to feeling of struggle between men and women at the progress of the play, between different behavioural patterns, different ways to overlook matters and pay attention to different things, in particular Trifles.