Trifles the play

Trifles the play - Kathryn Shahan Professor Prossor English...

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Kathryn Shahan Professor Prossor English 111 October 31 st 2008 The Value of Womanhood The play “Trifles” which was written by Susan Glaspell is a story about how one woman, who completely lost everything when she married that she once had when she was unmarried. This play takes place in 1916, when in America women had little rights if none at all. They were not allowed to vote, and they were still viewed as property to a man by society’s eyes. This play shows that women are valueless, even they are viewed as unimportant members of society, that all they should do is raise a family and keep house, and be obedient to her husband. In the play, the two women are in fact smart and clever and will envy a woman who broke those society norms and did what she saw as important to keep her “sanity”. Although Glaspell does not say so directly, she apparently assumes that the women in the early 1900’s are confined to what society allows them to have little value in their life, such as knitting, making preserves, and the love of another being. This assumption is correct however by today’s standards, she couldn’t be further from the truth. Women, who understand the value of being a woman during this time is so low from then on must stick together in order to protect one another from the harmful society’s shame of women who break the cycle. The men and women, who enter the Wright house, automatically feel that the house is not welcoming or warm which is how a home should feel. This type of criticism
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goes directly to the wife of the husband whose only job is to make a house feel like a home since that is what is expected of her by society and by her husbad. This job seems easy enough that someone as little value such as a wife or a woman should have no problem with it. However, when the wife feels that her own house cannot feel like a home to herself, she cannot comply and create something that is happy when it is not even there for her to feel. The feeling leaves the characters uncomfortable, “It never seemed a very cheerful place” (Glaspell 11) and as the men leave to find evidence for their trial, while the women of the group actually come to find that Mrs. Wright actually was trying to make a home feel more beautiful and welcoming. She had preserves in her cupboards, which was a hobby that women shared when they had their fruit crops come into season and it was obvious that she worked so hard on to make. She did something to try to keep her from the sting of loneliness and after she was arrested, that was the only thing she was worried about in her home, “She worried about that when it turned so cold. She said the fire'd go out and her jars would break.” (Glaspell 10). The men, who said that she worried about her preserves, found that ridiculous and laughed at her silly nonsense over something so impractical since she was being held for possibility of murder they would expect her to worry about more important things. In fact, that was
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2010 for the course ENG 100 taught by Professor Lettau during the Fall '06 term at Palomar.

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Trifles the play - Kathryn Shahan Professor Prossor English...

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