The Construction of Gender Roles in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles

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Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a play with a unified plot and includes verbal flashbacks to the events that led to the murder of John Wright. The themes highlighted in the play are based on the context of the events, and they include isolation, gender, patriarchy, and the plight of women. However, the moral dilemma in the play cuts across the styles and themes employed.

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The women pieced together the clues of the unresolved mystery of the death of Mr. Wright. They make use of the kitchen items and other things that the police considered trifle to find the murderer. However, they decide to withhold the information from the authorities. The moral dilemma in this context is based on whether or not it was morally correct for the women to protect Mrs. Wright who murdered Mr. Wright. It then raises questions such as, were the women justified to do what they did, and are their actions acceptable considering the plight of Mrs. Wright and that of women in general in a male-dominated and patriarchal society? These are the fundamental issues that this analysis seeks to examine.

Smith, Nicole. “Analysis of the Play Trifles By Susan Glaspell.” (2011): n. pag. Web. 29 Nov. 2018.

The author of this article, Smith Nicole, highlights the background of the playwright Susan Glaspell. The article highlights some of the most critical aspects of the play with respect to themes, styles, and implications. The author argues that the play mirrors Glaspell’s concern with culture- tied views of sex and gender roles. The core of this analysis by Nicole shows that the narrative of Trifle is based on the difference between men and women’s perceptions as well as behavior. The question is, do these differences contribute to problems such as domestic violence and abuse of women? The same questions that make the women connive and protect Mrs. Write from a murder conviction. The article highlights facts that point to the idea that women in this play are oppressed, and this could have contributed to their action.

From an individual viewpoint, the article is invaluable as it demonstrates the inherent themes and styles as used for better understanding of the play. The source was useful and helps shape the argument that the moral dilemma that the women find themselves in is a result of their intuition to protect “one of their own”. However, the content of this article does not change my perception of the topic.

Linda, Ben-Zvi. Murder, She Wrote: The Genesis of Glaspell Susan’s Trifles. Theatre Journal 44.2 (1992): 141“162. Web. 29 Feb.

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