Friday, March 02, 2012

Glaspell, like Kate Chopin, wants to highlight women's under valued place in society. She does it very effectively in her Play "Trifles." It's interesting to note that Glaspell bases this story on a real life event which adds more realism to her play in relation to how it displays gender disparities.

Early on, on page 920, we get our first glimpse of how the men in the play under-value the women when the county attorney says: " I guess before we're through she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about." And Mr. Hale adds: "well, women are used to worrying over trifles." Following closely, the attorney, by making a disparaging remark about Mrs. Wright's housekeeping traits, sets the stage for gender conflict. The two women find a common bond and band together emotionally to oppose helping with the investigation and, infact, hindering it. Not that the men would notice! They, the men, would never stoop to ask a mere woman, although valued, for their input concerning anything they've seen.

The women actually unravel the mystery by noticing the little things , while the men clomp about, feigning importance, looking for glaring evidence of motive, yet not finding any. On page 922 when the sheriff disparages Mrs. Hales remark: "I wonder if she was goin' to quilt it or just knot it" referring to the quilt, the resentment builds.

The hiding of what would be a key piece of evidence, the canary, (Pg. 927) from the men seals the pact between the women: Mrs. Hale, Mrs Peters, and the unseen Mrs. Wright. They'll not help the law that ridicules them.



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