The play Trifles by Susan Glaspell is one of the shortestplays that I have read.

The play Trifles by Susan Glaspell is one of the shortestplays that I have read. It is also one of the least dramatic andextremely difficult to interpret plays. To understand thesignificance in this play the viewer or reader should have a betterunderstanding of the cultural context in which this play waswritten. To do this it is beneficial to know what events werehappening in the authors Glaspell life at the time she wrotethis the role of women in everyday life back then and how thesuppression of women males affected their social recognition nowand then. The play Trifles was written in 1916. In the early1900s up until 1920 the womens suffrage movement was stillworking to guarantee all women in the United States equal civilianprivileges beside men. Susan Glaspell wrote many of her plays onthe social issues of feminism socialism Darwinism and legalreform Beatty unpainted. Along with her husband they foundedthe Provincetown Players a theater group committed to transformingAmerican theater into an artistic medium in which serious socialissues could be treated realistically. This is important tounderstanding the play because it brings up the important theme ofthe play of male dominance over the women. Trifles shows theaudience first hand a case in where male dominance and ignorance ofthe womens observations actually hinders their abilities to solvethe case of the murdered husband Mr. Wright. To get a furtherinsight into how she was able to portray such a realistic incidentit is important to know that this play was written based on a realincident that she as a reported covered On Dec. 22 1900; JohnHossack was killed in his bed by two blows to the head from an axe.His wife Margaret claimed to have slept through it. She wasarrested for murder on the day of the funeral tried convictedand sentenced to life in prison. However the Iowa Supreme Courtoverturned the life sentence and a second trial resulted in a hungjury so she went free. Susan Glaspell who wrote Trifles was oneof the only female reporters who covered the trial and she usedthe Hossack murder as a loose inspiration for the play. The bookcalled Midnight Assassin that discusses the real case and if youare interested its a fascinating read. In 1900 when the murderthis play is loosely based on took place. Women in the UnitedStates did not have the right to vote. This did not change until1920. Women were extremely unlikely to be chosen to serve on thejury of a criminal trial. Why might we consider this to be aproblem today especially in a case where the defendant is a woman?One of the trifles in the play is whether or not Mrs. Wright wasgoing to quilt or knot the quilt she was working on. As is thecase for many of the trifles in this play the question is moresignificant than it seems. The final stage of quilting is to attachthe top batting and backing together. This can be done in twoways. One way quilting is to sew elaborate patterns on it. Thesimpler but just as effective way knotting is to sew a threadthrough the pieces using large stitches cut the thread and tieknots in it. The symbolism of the knotting is the fact that Mrs.Wright killed her husband by tying and knotting a rope around hisneck. This is a simple not elaborate but very effective way tokill a man. Midnight Assassin. She was not an investigator justlike women in the play but solely an observer just like the womenas well. She viewed the world and the crime scene the same way thatwomen in the play did. Unlike the men who were looking for largekey pieces of evidence the women noticed small seeminglyunimportant out of place kitchen items and connected that with theemotions and feelings of the deceased husbands wife Mrs. Wright.After the women notice a view of these minor clues Mr. Hale saysto one of the other men well women are used to worrying overtrifles McMahan 1093. This line is the basis for the entire play.Trifles not only refers to the out of place items but also thewomen themselves. By them worrying about such miniscule occurrencesthey are as the men see not capable of doing a mans business.When this play was written it was the womans job in society to bearound the house to raise the children mend cloths cook dinnerclean the houseetc. They were not able to get jobs or live out ontheir own. In the husbands eyes they did not have significant rolesin society only in the house. Many men at this time did not showthe appreciation love attention and affection that most womenshould always be shown. Their role was to be the head of the houseand provide their family with the necessities to live nothingmore. Glaspell does an excellent job of showing this by describingthe kitchen setting in the play. The men overlook details about thehouse and Mrs. Wright that women notice almost immediately. AsJenny Cromie put it They notice Minnies desolate isolatedexistence her broken furniture the run-down kitchen where she hadto cook and the ragged cloth-ing she was to wear because of herhusbands mi-serly insensitivity. These clues which couldultimately decide the guilt or innocence of Mrs. Wright arecompletely overlooked as dumb or unintelligent solely because thewomen found them. Also at a point in the play Mrs. Hale describesMr. Wright as Yesgood; he didnt drink and kept his word aswell as most I guess and paid his debts. But he was a hard manMrs. Peters. Just to pass the time of day with him. Like a raw windthat gets to the bone. She acknowledges that he was a decent manbut by the more she looks into the life of Mrs. Wright shenotices that he was not a decent husband as were many of the menat that time. Greg Beatty found an important part of the play inwhich male dominance is showed at its finest. Glaspell shows theirdominance not by words or actions but through dramatic devices.The play follows strictly the outline for a tragedy. HoweverGlaspell leaves out the closing of the curtain to show a differentor a switch of scene in the play. Instead this brought aboutthrough the absence of the men. Beatty stats Each time the menleave the women exchange private information; each time theyenter the men force or prevent crucial decisions. This suppressionof information was not fully by the choice of the women. Even ifthey did speak up and tell them about the so called evidence thatthey had found the fact that they were women trying to do a mansjob would hinder the ability for the men to take them serious intheir findings. The men would not be able to see how the triflescould be linked to the murder because that is not the way that theythink. Beatty also made a connection between the names that thewomen and the men had in the play. The last names of men werebefitting for them because of their position in society. Mr. Haleis hale and hearty and Mr. Peters whose name means rock isa sheriff or a foundation of society Beatty unpainted. Thesetitles are relevant to the women because that is the only name theyare referred to by throughout entirety the play. They are referredto by society through the legal connection of their husbands andnot by the independence of their first names. Even though they areindividuals that take care of the house and family they do nothave enough freedom from their husbands to be called anything buttheir husbands names. Mrs. Peters admits her duty to her husbandand the law when she says But Mrs. Hale the law is the lawHere she clearly states that she is loyal to her husband and thelaws. Also the County Attorney says A sheriffs wife is marriedto the law . Contradicting what she had say earlier she agreeswith him even though she is hiding key pieces of evidence from thelaw. She has chosen to break her obligation to her husband andlaw in order to stick up for her fellow woman. Sum this everythingup Trifles is not just a play but a tool. A tool used toconvey to every person that watches the suppression and hardshipsthat some women had and still have to go through because ofdevaluation in a male dominance oriented society. When readingthe play it is short unelaborated and un-dramatic. But by nowknowing the actual murder story that this play was based off of byknowing a little more about the personality and the early life ofSusan Glaspell (the author) and finally understanding the strongmale domination in this play back then and now it makes the playthat much clearer. can you edit that for me please noplagiarism

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