Essay about a play Trifles


Author’s name

Thesis statement:

Whereas Trifles is a thematically complex play, the men in theplay are portrayed acting as extremely important people in societywhile the women seem to find their space hence bringing out the themeof female identity in the play.

The play has numerous themes that can be discussed. However,the theme of female identity is extremely imminent in the entireplay. The play, which revolves around the mysterious murder of Mr.Wright, portrays women as objects and as submissive to men. It isevident that women in the play are referred to using their husbands’names such as Mrs. Hales, Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Peters (Glaspell,1916). On the contrary, the men are referred to by their first names.This clearly brings out the gender identity in the play. The threemen carrying out the investigation of the death of Mr. Wright appearto be active and busy while the women are portrayed as fearful andresented. When the men enter the house and warm themselves by thestove, the women are left at the door in fear (Glaspell, 1916). Thisis a clear indication of the position that the men took in the play.The men are the ones who move upstairs to see the body of the Mr.Wright, while the women are left consoling Mrs. Wright. It is clearlyevident that the roles are divided in terms of gender.

The men in the play do not seem to think that women take issues withthe seriousness they deserve. Hale is heard saying that &quotWell,women are used to worrying over trifles,&quot…with reference tothe point by Mrs. Peters over Mrs. Wright’s worry. The male genderis viewed as the dominant gender and the women in the play try toshow their importance and relevance. This is manifested when Mrs.Peters refuses to join the men around the stove. Another aspect thatbrings out the theme of female identity out clearly is the setting ofthe entire. It is evident that the crime scene was the bedroom.However, the story took part in the kitchen, an area that is largelyassociated with women (Glaspell, 1916). It is evident that the storywould have taken place in the crime scene or in the police station.This is viewed by analysts as foreshadow of the role that women willplay in criminology. The women in the play, especially at theentrance of the house seem to follow the men at a distance (Glaspell,1916). Whereas the men in the play seem confident and determined tounearth the mysterious death of Mr. Wright, the women appear fearfuland distressed, as well as isolated. While the men seem to lay theblame of the death of Mr. Wright on his wife, the women seem todefend her. Clear gender differences are identified in this aspect.

It is worth noting that this play was set at a time when women wereviewed as objects and their roles were only reduced to trivial dutiessuch as cooking, cleaning and gossip. The men in this play seem tosubscribe to this doctrine. This causes the women to unite as agender and defy the paradigms of patriarchal society. Whereas the menportray a sense of self-importance and appear as serious detectives,it is clear that they are not as keen as the women in the play(Glaspell, 1916). The women are the ones who find the evidence of thedead bird and hind it from the women. This is seen as a form ofrevenge against the men who appear to belittle them and devalue theirintellect. This is viewed as an act of extreme loyalty to the femalegender, which seems to find their identity in the entire play.


Glaspell, S. (1916). Trifles. The project Gutenberg eBook of plays bySusan Glaspell.