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Gender Roles In Trifles

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The play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell is largely based on stereotypes. The most prevalent one explores the difference between gender roles. Glaspell exerts the repression of women in the 1900s. During that time, women were highly looked down upon by men, and were only seen as the housekeepers and child bearers. This example is displayed throughout the play with the men, however, the women in this play prove that the stereotypes of gender roles held against them are completely wrong, which is shown through the characters, set design, and symbolism. The characters in the play reveal some of the gender stereotypes through the way they are presented in the beginning of the play, “The sheriff and Hale are men in the middle life…They are followed…show more content…
The setting takes place the majority of the time in the kitchen of Mrs. Wrights home which is described as “dirty” and “gloomy”. The men see the dirty and gloomy kitchen as a sign that Mrs. Wright wq as a bad housekeeper, which in their mind translates to her being a bad woman in general. “Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies? There’s a great deal of work to be done on a farm…I’d hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing” (page 820 and 821). The women, however, can relate to the hardships and responsibilities that are to be done and stand up for Mrs. Wright as the men are judging her without any understanding at all. “Nothing here but kitchen things” (page 819). This reveals how oblivious the men are to the female perspective, and that they do not even take into account the fact that Mrs. Wright had no time to tidy up her kitchen before she was taken to jail. To me, it seems obvious, and makes a lot of sense, that all the clues would be found in the kitchen because in the 1900s the kitchen is symbolic of women and where most spent all their time in the house. The men also take light of the small details that the women take note of, in particular as to how Mrs. Wright was contemplating the construction of the quilt. As the women converse and share experiences of their own and those of Mrs. Wright, they begin to form…show more content…
Wright and John Wright. In any crime scene there is a possibility of change through the effort of manmade and social construction, which is why description is very important in any scene. From the similar experiences of the women in the play, they know the truth but hide from the fear of the men who look down upon them. Glaspell cares about the way gender is constructed in the play as well as how the set has been gendered. The men believe that they grant female identity by virtue of the women’s relation to the men rather than through their inherent qualities as females. Thankfully, throughout time this identity of women has changed more and more, giving women more confidence and independence without being based off their
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