Trifles mean things or details which are not important or significant. It was used by Glaspell the author as the title of her play to show the importance of considering some insignificant acts which seem to have little or entirely no real meaning. This title is a contradiction to the events in the play. The author talks about how women are treated in the society. Glaspell, the playwright, had an intention to show how women are vulnerable to brutal men –like John Wright, in the domestic sphere. But she also dramatizes the intense sense of solidarity shared by women with an assumption that the solidarity was in some way accountable for the superiority of men. The main purpose of writing the paper is to perceive readers on the importance of trifles consideration. This essay best explained the significance of trifle review by drawing examples and relevant evidence based on the themes, characters, dialogue and plot of the play by Glaspell.
In the society, the role of women is one of the trifles which need to be given close attention by men and the society as a whole. For instance, in the play, the two women characters were able to perceive different aspects in the life of Mrs. Wright due to their roles in the society. The play shows that women wanted a sense of community and had difficulty with loneliness. Men on the other side seem to pay negligent attention to this feeling of community which promotes love and solidarity. They appear to cope well with loneliness. Women characters also wanted to play a significant role in giving justice to both parties in the incidence of murder within the play. Being wives of men in that society, they recognized that Minnie’s husband abused her. Therefore, they hide the possible evidence for her case to ensure that she is not found guilty. Women clearly understood why Minnie chose to murder her husband and therefore justified her actions. In contrary, men were not willing to investigate what could have prompted Mrs. Wright to kill her husband; instead, they were looking for evidence to prove her guilty of the murder. Therefore, women should be offered the freedom to express their roles adequately in any rational society. They should not be considered as properties of the community but should equally be treated. Finally, they should not just be there to be seen but should also be heard in the community.
There should be gender equality in every society in all aspects of lives. Men should not regard themselves as the only intelligence, official and the focal point in the society. One may notice this on how the play begins with gentlemen getting into Wright’s bare farmhouse followed by women. Mr. Hale seems to have all the necessary evidence over the death of Mr. Wright in the manner he narrated his encounter when he visited the same house the day before. As men, Mr. Peter, Mr. Hale, and the county attorney were busy searching relevant sections of the house like upstairs for proof. Women characters; Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters were only allowed to investigate the kitchen section where they finally find evidence over the unsettled matter. Eventually, men found no trace upstairs in Wright’s house that could prove Mrs. Wright’s guilty; while the women come across a dead canary which widely opens the case (Glaspell, p. 11, 1992). The two women realize that Mr. Wright must have killed the bird, which made Mrs. Wright kill him in return. The women concluded together that Mrs. Wright’s husband was abusing her, and they uniformly understood the feelings of being oppressed by men. Because of their tender feelings for Mrs. Wright, they spared her from being punished for killing Mr. Wright by hiding the evidence against her. The kitchen section which seems to have no significance for men concerning the murder finally proves to contain all the details which the women used to solve the crime.
Secondly, trifles could be things that one see and find significance due to some personal reasons despite size. In many occasions, women look into the emotional aspects of minor items together with their importance to the matter in place. For instance, the two women characters, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are sympathetic with the wife of the victim. With their sympathy, they were able to recognize the motive behind her action. Their understanding of all these reasons leads them to hide the evidence against Minnie. Men characters in the play had no emotional feelings; instead, they were busy looking for large apparent traces of data to help them prove the murder. The female characters on their investigation come across a canary’s body whose neck is wrung and killed in a similar manner as John Wright. They finally conclude from this evidence that Minnie murdered the husband. The plot comes to a conclusion as the two women hide the evidence against the prime suspect. The two groups of characters in the play indicate that what one sees and feels as important may not be the same to someone else. Therefore, to amicably settle an issue it would be importance to consider all the views equally and the areas of concern mainly on emotional feelings of women.
In conclusion, Trifles which is the title of the play refers to women’s roles in the society which men look at as just “trifles.” The title covers the author’s points well; it is also symbolic. “Trifle” is something which is of little or no importance and value. In the story, some items are referred to as “trifles.” Trifles to the men stand for everything that women think are significant. In simple terms, women themselves are nothing but trifles for people’s perception in the society. Glaspell, the author of the play, fulfills her goal when she writes this story to highlight the injustice and inequality which women went through in the 19th century. Up to date, Trifles is a story well-known and is being read worldwide by many people both male and female. The story is considered as the opposite of the title’s meaning.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Kernerman Publishing Limited, 1992.