1 Marcus Caballero Professor Read English 101 October 20, 2019 Prompt 3: Explore what Trifles has to say about gender roles. Trifles Trump Testosterone 1916 was a time period with different values, morals, and beliefs regarding women and their roles in society. Indubitably, women were seen as “less than” by men as they were not given the right to vote until 1919 when the 19th Amendment was passed. In Trifles by Susan Glaspell, Glaspell uses the characters in the play to criticize the gender roles and stereotypes imposed by society as a whole, which is the patriarchy. A patriarchy is essentially a government run by mostly men and women are condemned from holding any type of power. This play explores how women are underestimated in their abilities and is shown throughout the entirety of this work. The play opens up with an abandoned and messy farmhouse with plenty of dismissed items misplaced--”unwashed pans under the sink, a loaf of bread outside the bread-box, a dish-towel on the table” (Glaspell 709). This farmhouse belongs to John and Minnie Wright and is being investigated by the Sheriff and Mr. Hale because Mr. Hale had arrived to the Wright’s home and Minnie had stated calmly that her husband was dead. When Mr. Hale investigated the home, he found the John had been strangled by a rope and Minnie was immediately arrested and is now awaiting her trial. Mr. Hale, the Sheriff, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Peters, and the county attorney all return to the Wright house because Mr. Hale had left John’s body to be investigated by
2 professionals. Immediately, it’s noticeable that the women don’t hold as much power as the men because of their names. For instance, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale aren’t acknowledged by their first name. They are seen as “less than” their husbands. However, Minnie is identified by her first name which is very telling of how others my perceive her in the play.