Gender Differences In Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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Section 1: Introduction Susan Glaspell’s Trifles is a play about the effect of gender differences on perceptions of duty, law, and justice. The play Trifles was a murder mystery that got investigated by the County Attorney (George Henderson), the Sheriff (Henry Peters) along with his wife (Mrs. Peters), and a neighbor farmer (Lewis Hale) with his wife (Mrs. Hale). The story took place in an isolated farm house that was miles from the rest of the community in the Midwest. The victim of this murder mystery was John Wright as he was found dead with a rope around this neck. On the other hand, his wife Mrs. Wright was the suspect of this homicide case because she was the only person that was in the house other than her deceased husband. Mrs. Wright…show more content…
that arise from one’s position (as in life or in a group)” (, n/a). In the play Trifles, men viewed their duty as something that was grand and its importance will prioritize over smaller details that were considered as “trifles”; however, the women in the play spent most of their time performing domestic work and they examined the finer details of what Mrs. Wright did and the details that the men considered as “trifles.” The play mentions “Nothing here but kitchen things” (Glaspell, 186). This proves that the men did not recognize the importance of what happened in the kitchen because they overlooked at the smaller details of the fruit jam that Mrs. Wright made. In addition, the men also made a claim of “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell, 187). This shows the men in the play was stereotyping the women’s roles because they assumed that women only worry about the smaller things around the house. However, the women did agree that their role in society was very strenuous. In the Trifles, Mrs. Hale said, “There’s a great deal of work to be done on the farm” (Glaspell, 187). This quote suggests that the women agreed that their duty was mostly domestic work like taking care of the farm and the house and they also defended Mrs. Wright by saying that it takes a lot of effort to keep the farm neat and clean. Furthermore, Mrs. Hale also emphasized on the work that they do around the house, she…show more content…
During the play the county attorney states, “But you know juries when it comes to women... a thing that would connect...” (Glaspell, 191). In the setting of this play, women were not allowed to become juries meaning that they cannot influence many courts’ decision when women were being accused of a crime. In result, men hold the power to make many decisions in the legal system, while it also enhance their power and influence in society. Furthermore, the county attorney reminded Mrs. Peters, “For that matter, a sheriff’s wife is married to the law” (Glaspell, 192). This shows the attorney assumed that Mrs. Peters was bound to the law because she is the wife of the sheriff; however, he did not account that women were extremely underrepresented in the government because women could not vote or serve has juries. On the other hand, Mrs. Peters did believe in the laws when she states, “The law has got to punish crime, Mrs. Hale” (Glaspell, 191). This shows that Mrs. Peters strongly believe that the law will punish the crime that the murderer committed. However, Mrs. Hale did hold a different opinion about the law when she saw what Mrs. Wright went through when she married Mr. Wright. Mrs. Hale said, “I wish you’d seen Minnie Foster... That was a crime!” (Glaspell,

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