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“The Drama Trifles” by Susan Glaspell

“The Drama Trifles” is a play by Susan Glaspell that focuses on gender, isolation, and justice. The drama primarily centers on the oppression of women, which is a common issue in many communities. In this case, the male character in the play wants to gather evidence of Mrs. Wright’s crime, which involves the murder of his husband, Wright. The historical context and the setting can be analyzed to view how Glaspell has used the drama to educate the audience. The reasons why the main character of this drama was at the mercy of societal forces for her problems to be solved can also be addressed.

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Historical Context and Setting of the Drama

The historical interpretation of the drama reveals that “The Drama Trifles” was meant to address the challenges faced by women in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. Many countries limited women from accessing various positions that were meant for men. Moreover, women have been seen as inferior to men in many societies. For instance, females could not participate in juries and voting. Also, women working in various organizations earned much less than their male counterparts. Therefore, The Drama Trifles” created awareness regarding women’s oppression in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The setting of a narrative can determine how the audience will understand and enjoy the story. In this case, Glaspell has focused on the setting of the play to ensure that the audience can understand the message being conveyed. The setting of The Drama Trifles” is a farmhouse, whereby the murder investigation is exercised. Using the farmhouse as the setting is essential since it helps readers understand the perspectives of male and female characters.

For instance, men focus on the bedroom since it is where Wright’s occurred, while female characters center on the kitchen as they were defending Mrs. Wright. The Sherriff also states, “nothing here but kitchen things” (Glaspell, 2020, p. 20). The statement shows that the farmhouse was largely used during the investigation. Thus, the setting has also played a significant role in the drama since it helps the audience understand the characters and move the story’s plot along.

Reasons Why Mrs. Wright Was at the Mercy of Societal Forces for her Problems to Be Solved

Mrs. Wright, who is one of the main characters in The Drama Trifles,” has been used by Glaspell to reveal the societal problems involving women. Mrs. Wright experienced challenges living with his husband in the farmhouse. She lives a sad and isolated life that her husband has imposed on her. Consequently, Glaspell has used Mrs. Wright to show how females face challenges in their marriage. Mr. Wright used to be a happy and blissful girl before matrimony, and she is unhappy after her marriage.

She is also arrested for the crime and is being held until trial, which increases her hardships. Hence, Glaspell has used Mrs. Wright’s character to portray the oppression that many societies should address regarding issues faced by women in the community and how they can be solved, such as empowering women. Moreover, Mrs. Right has shown that women should seek help when facing challenges in society and marriage.


The Drama Trifles” is an essential play that reveals that people should value women in society. In many cases, women face oppression in the community and are viewed as inferior. Moreover, gender inequality has led to women being deprived of some opportunities in various organizations. Many women are living in unhappy marriages, leading to their poor health. Thus, the historical context, the setting, and the use of Mrs. Wright in The Drama Trifles” have enabled Glaspell to educate the audience about these challenges faced by women in society.

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Glaspell, S. (2020). Trifles. Stage Door.

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