Dylan Casoria ENG111 Final Exam Paper Prompt #2: Is gender defining of one’srole in this play? How so? If that is generally the norm, do any of the characters break out of this definition? If so, How? Throughout history we have constantly watched people be generalized in society by the role they ‘appear’ they should play. In the play Triflesby Susan Glaspell we can clearly see a connection many times to the misconceptions surrounding gender ‘norms.’ This play particularly focuses on the dynamic between a man and wife during the very early 1900’s in the mid-west. John Wright and his wife Minnie were a young couple that had moved out to the country to take claim to new territory. Throughout the play, we see a world that presents us with strict gender roles in the work place and in social settings. In this day in age, society was driven by men in all aspects, this forced women to be attached to their husband and become reliant on their ability to support a family. We see that Minnie struggles to find her own identity and was constantly in a battle for control with her husband Mr. Wright. The two other prominent women in the play Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters end up breaking gender norms to help a fellow woman in a time of need. The play’s theme can be spotted right out the gate due to the state of the setting. The Wright’s kitchen is described as unkept, in disarray, and everything is covered in a layer of filth. This shows that the dynamic between the two lovers was very poor and neither side was ‘keeping up their end of the bargain.’ The dirty house is a symbol of their detrimental relationship on one another. This eventually leads to Minnie’s tipping point and she murders her husband John.This is where the gender misconception begins to take hold. When the county attorney George Henderson and the local sheriff Henry Peters arrive with Mrs. Peters and the neighbor’s wife Mrs. Hale, they clearly hold themselves to a higher standard than women. This is apparent when Mr. Henderson asks Mr. Hale what had happened before consulting with Minnie. When,
Mr. Hale gives his testimony he explains the situation and how he did not touch anything as to not tamper with evidence and loosely questioned Minnie about the incident. She claimed to have been asleep in the same bed and had not woke up when the assailant attacked her husband.