Trifles The play, Trifles by Susan Glaspell is written and read as a dialogue and is supposed to be acted out on a stage with a setting and characters. This play is classified as a 1 act play since there is only 1 scene. Trifles is also considered to be a realism drama because there are real characters with real events throughout the play. The setting of this play is the kitchen of a house which belongs to a murder suspect. The protagonists in this play are the two women that are on stage, Mrs.
Peters and Mrs. Hale, while the antagonist of the play are the men, who are George Henderson (county attorney), Henry (sheriff), and Lewis Hale (neighboring farmer). Although this play has a plot and a storyline, there is a more in depth way to view and interpret the meaning of this story. This play was written in 1916, a time which women still didn’t have rights for themselves. Women at this time period are still viewed as small, non-important factors in everyday life.
Men are supposed to be the superior gender that handles everything in life. Throughout the play, the men are the ones who are searching the house looking for clues or evidence of motives for the murder of Mr. Wright allegedly killed by Mrs. Wright. The women are present during this investigation, but are not supposed to be a part of it. They just came along to be observers. However, during the course of the women’s time at the house, they begin to fiddle through some items and take notice of some small details in the house.
In the end, it’s the women who end up discovering all of the clues that the men need to find. The comparison of these small details that the women find, and the way in which women were viewed during this time period, gives way for the title of the play. Trifles are defined as something of little importance or value. This definition can be directly compared to both women and the clues. Throughout the play, the role of the women is escalated and that of the men is depressed.
Women are shown here in this play as the smarter, more intellect gender, whereas the men, whose purpose in life is to do all of the work, can’t even find any clues of motives for the murder and are portrayed as the dumb, less intelligent gender. All the time that the men are at the house, they are making fun of the women and degrading them, when in reality, it is the women who have pretty much solved the case, and there superiority to the men. I found this play very interesting how the roles of the male and females played out and how it was the females who emerged as the top gender. (478)