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Trifles Gender Roles

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The one-act play, “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspell, has several themes that are incorporated within it. There are several dominant ideas such as female identity, patriarchal dominance, isolation, and justice are themes that are all reflected in different ways throughout the play; however, gender is the main theme of “Trifles.” There is a considerable difference between the roles of the men and the women in this play. The men are expected to act in a more controlling, dominant way, while the women are expected to act in the typical ‘housekeeper’ fashion. The theme of gender is brought out through the play in many dramatic elements such as character, tone, and dramatic irony. In “Trifles,” the gender roles are depicted clearly through the characters. The men: the Sheriff, the County Attorney, and Mr. Hale, are…show more content…
This irony occurs when the audience understands a concept or situation that the characters do not. Written in the 1900’s, “Trifles” deals with the rights of women and the assumptions about women in society at that time. Throughout the play, the Court Attorney, the Sheriff, and Mr. Hale are so deep into the fact that the women are focusing on the little things, such as the trifles. In reality, the men are the ones focusing on the little things, such as the bad housekeeping. “Dirty towels! (kicks his foot against the pans under the sink) Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” (Meyer 1389). In an ironic turn, the audience knows that the women have solved the murder mystery while the men remain oblivious of the truth because of their assumptions. The two women end up identifying with Minnie Wright’s abuse at the hands of her husband and feel the murder was justified. They then conspire to conceal the truth from their ignorant husbands and the County Attorney. The dramatic irony plays a huge role throughout the play, especially in wrapping up the
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