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"Trifles"

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The society comes out as one that does not protect its own, we read and hear that Mrs. Wright has no children of her own, this is seen to have put a strain in there marriage and she is seen to move from the once lively Minnie to the gloomy and indoor Mrs. Wright. The women reach out to her and try to shield her from the uncaring society, while the men show no mercy upon this woman (Cohn 123). The idea “innocent until proven guilty” didn’t apply to her; they seem stuck on the idea of finding proof to incriminate the wife since to them she is the only suspect.

At the end of the play the women give details on how Minnie murdered the husband, but this they did in a parable kind of way (she “knots it” instead of “quilts it”).  The women are also said to withhold information from the men because of the way they viewed them (the attitude of the investigators towards their wives make them feel like “trifles” and causes them to withhold the evidence). This type of treatment was there in both the play and short story, where the women’s place is in the kitchen, Mrs. Wright state of kitchen makes the men conclude that as a wife she was a failure, they also leave the wives in the kitchen and go to investigate, this implies that it is not a woman’s job to investigate the crime scene such jobs were to be left entirely to the men. In the two contexts the men are seen to have the notion that the work the women do is inconsequential, this brings an irony to this idea since the things they consider to be beneath them are the same things the women use gather evidence that put the wife as the culprit(Ayres 163). The role of the women in this society did not work for the good of them which left Mrs. Wright with no choice but to kill her husband. At the heart of Mrs. Wright’s loneliness lay the abusive Mr. Wright whose tyrannical  behavior (strangling the bird) causes his wife to murder him, the men seem to have no point in wanting to find out why Mr. Wright was murdered but they stuck on finding the evidence to implicate the wife. The hiding of important evidence that  would have led to the investigator’s closing the case, by the wives, also shows another side of the story, when human beings are imprisoned they tend to act out, for example, Mrs. Wright acted out which led to the death of her husband, the wives acted to save one of their own (Ayres 43). They understood her misery and remembered how the once cheerful Minnie changed after the wedding day. They also had themselves to blame since they never took time to visit Mrs. Wright. The story and the play show the struggle of women in a male dominated world.  Forced by circumstance to stay together Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are left in the kitchen since the men believed it was the right place for the women. The go men out to look for clues and the women are left to gather some of Minnie’s belongings to take to her in the jail cell (Cohn 189).. This eventually led to the women stumbling into two clues one of the crooked stitching on one of the quilts Minnie was working on (the phrase “she knots it instead of quilts it” on how Minnie murdered her husband came from this discovery) (Rhode 76). The next clue was Minnie’s cherished canary found strangled which was symbolic of how Mr. Wright was strangled. For the two clues the women made up stories to cover up for the unseen evidence. The broken hinge on the bird’s cage and the notion that Mr. Wright had strangled the canary was also viewed by the two women as a symbol of the same way he had killed his wife, spirit with his overbearing manner. For historians they talk about men from time in memorial having to look at women as the weaker sex which is also depicted from the play and the short story, the men in the these contexts are seen to look down upon the women as seen from the two.

Politics are seen to be part of the man’s world and not a woman’s, they have their ideas that they want implemented according to their opinions and anything conveyed by the women is not important, this is shown by the way the men exit from the kitchen without even asking for the opinions of the women present, to imply that the women have nothing of importance to add to the investigation (Cohn 204).. Unfortunately the women prove them wrong by being the ones who resolve the whole murder case but with their wisdom they vow to keep it to them and hide all the evidence to save one of their own, they therefore came out as the best investigators in this scenario since their eye for observation was rewarded. Susan Glaspell’s has brought new understanding to the audience of the play and also the readers of her short story, that women have come a long way to be where they are today in this century (Rhode 76).    

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