Literary Analysis Susan Glespell’s Trifleadmin / January 30, 2019
Susan Glespell’s ‘Trifle’ is a play that presents a diverse view of the male-dominated society. Susan Glespell presents a somewhat critical view of society through a murder scene in which a woman is accused of murder and an investigation takes place to determine whether she is the murder or not (Glaspell).
The investigation eventually divides into two teams; the first constituting the men, and the second constituting the women. The actions of the two teams present a view toward modern day society that strongly brings the play forth as a feminist work.
The character of Minnie Wright in Susan Glespell’s Trifles is a very interesting character since it is never seen and yet she steer’s the play ad influences it more than any of the other characters. It is imperative to note at this point that ‘Trifles’ is mainly a feminist work and advocates against the traditional housewife concept.
In this regard, the character of Minnie Wright plays a key role by serving as the source for the turns that the plot takes (Glaspell). As the women look around the house, each object they find and scrutinize provides a deeper insight into Minnie Wright’s persona. Through this relationship, Minnie Wright continues to drive the other characters in the play.
When the women come across the dead canary in Minnie Wright’s belongings, the dead bird serves as a development of Minnie Wright’s character and this development in her character serves to have an almost immediate influence on the decisions taken by the women in the play (Glaspell).
It can therefore be observed that as Minnie Wright’s personality is explored through the investigation that the women carry out through the house, Minnie Wright’s character continues to develop significantly. Eventually, the termination of the plot is also influenced by an act that owes its origin to Minnie Wright’s character.
It can therefore be surmised that Trifles is mainly a feminist play. Through the character of Minnie Wright, the play seeks to speak out against the growing prevalence of the male-dominated model of society (Glaspell).
The actions of the female characters in the play are symbolic for the manner in which Susan Glespell seeks to highlight the need for the role of women in society to be realized. Susan Glespell stresses upon the need for women to stick together while shedding a blunt and somewhat generalizing light on the men. She gives very little attention to the men but makes sure that the men are shown to be in power every time they come forth.
Susan Glespell tops off her play by showing that the men consider themselves to have done all the work, whereas the decision has been modeled silently by the women (Glaspell). By doing so, Susan Glespell seeks to highlight the need to realize the actual power that women have in society.
It can also be observed that Susan Glespell highlights the need for women to assist each other. By pocketing the dead canary, the female character protected the murderer and allowed the murderer to live even though she realized that this would be wrong.
Through this act, Susan Glespell highlights that the quest for right and wrong requires the realization of integrity and respect for women in society (Perkins and Perkins). It can therefore be justly concluded that Susan Glespell’s ‘Trifle’ is indeed a feminist work and seeks to engage in feminist objectives through the plot and the characters.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. California: D’arts Publishing, 2009.
Perkins, George and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008.