Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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A trifle is defined as someone or something of little value or importance. Women during the time of 1916 were treated as people of lesser value. In her play Trifles, Susan Glaspell uses symbolism, irony, and characterization to illustrate how men and women are unequal during that particular point in time. The woman overcame the obstacle of the murder case on their own, illustrating how Glaspell’s work challenges the status quo of the society during the time of 1916.
Glaspell’s main interest in writing Trifles is to focus on the roles women played during the time. Symbolism is heavily used to show that specific detail. Initially the title correlates with the dictionary definition. The title demonstrates that the women were trifles and always thought of as lower than the men. In the mind of men, women were just accessories, nothing more than someone who cooks and cleans the house and who doesn’t know anything other than wifely duties. Another solid example of symbolism is Glaspell’s use of the birdcage. One can easily realize that there is much more to that piece of
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Men of the time ruled the roost while the women stayed home where they belong. Roles of men and women have changed drastically in 100 years. Back in the time of 1916 men were always superior to women no matter what the situation was. In Glaspell’s play characterization demonstrates how the women challenged the status quo. “My, it’s a good thing the men couldn’t hear us. Wouldn’t they just laugh!” (lines 349-350). Over time women came to accept that the men would treat them of lesser value because of their sex. Many times throughout the play such as the quote just stated, the men treat the women terribly and the women just stand there and take it. Their actions suggest women respected the men and in return didn’t always get respect back. Women were not able to stand up for what they believed in because the men would mock them instead of support
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