Trifles

The Force of Female Liberation College

The male-dominated society of the early 1900's was thriving during the time that Susan Glaspell was writing 'Trifles', her one-act play. Women did not have the right to vote and had severely limited opportunities in the professional arena. They were expected to remain autonomous, subservient to their husbands, and bear children. In many ways, men viewed women as objects with no personal goals, interests, original thoughts or intellectual freedom.

One of the major themes that Susan Glaspell touches on in 'Trifles' is the legitimacy of a woman's fight for her personal freedom. From the murder of John Wright to the decision to withhold information from law enforcement, the actions and dialogue of the play's female characters embody the theme of effective female empowerment.

Minnie Wright's decision to murder her husband represents the consequential and unyielding nature of a woman’s desire for liberation. We learn that Minnie, whose maiden name is Foster, was a lively and fun choir singer who cherished her singing pet canary before her marriage to John Wright. However, her overprotective husband abruptly put a stop to all the activities that made Minnie happy, making her feel trapped in a loveless,...

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