Gender Conflicts In Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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Susan Glaspell’s story, Trifles, is a story of many contradictions. The story is tip-toeing around two viewpoints. The reader can place themselves in the shoes of both the male and female characters; Glaspell uses these differing viewpoints to show gender conflicts common to the time. In order to understand the conflicts, the reader must first examine the setting. From there the reader can then see how the men in the story view the women, how the women in the story see the men, and how each of the character’s moral compass is portrayed to match his or her viewpoint. The story presents gender conflicts in the form of a murder investigation. Glaspell sets the story up with Mr. Hale stopping by the Wright home to discuss a communal phone. It is here the reader catches a glimpse of gender issues first arising. Mr. Hale explains Mr. Wright and Mrs. Wright as having different views on the community phone. Mr. Hale was saying “he had talked to Mr. Wright about the phone before, and Wright had dismissed it because he wanted peace and quiet. He thought if he talked about it before Mrs. Wright, John might change his mind; although he did not know what his wife wanted made much difference to Mr. Wright” (Trifles). From here, the story moves to the main setting of the Wright’s home. As the story traverses the setting of the house, the women take notice on how dirty it is, and begin to clean up certain areas of the house. The men make the comment on Mrs. Wright’s
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