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“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell Analyis

Feminist stance reflects varying perceptions of men and women, and the play “Trifles,” written by Susan Glaspell, is an excellent example of literary works focused on this topic. In the narrative, several men and women come to a house when investigating a murder (Glaspell 1). They attempt to recreate the events, and the former’s prejudice leads to an erroneous conclusion, whereas the latter can see the truth.

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The male characters fail to notice the vital clues at the crime scene since they are convinced of the unimportance of women’s belongings. Their neglect is explicitly seen in the sheriff’s words who says that there is nothing useful for investigation in “kitchen things” (Glaspell 3). In this way, they focus on the rooms upstairs, thereby leaving the actual evidence of the crime to women.

The female protagonists’ thinking process, in turn, is not limited by gender stereotypes, and they manage to reveal the truth. Thus, Mrs. Hale finds a box with “something wrapped up in a piece of silk” which happens to be a strangled bird (Glaspell 7). The women understand that it is the main evidence against their neighbor, trace her motives, and hide it from the menu.

The actions of male and female characters in the play are influenced by their beliefs. The former’s feministic views do not allow them to take the alleged criminal’s belongings seriously, whereas the latter’s objectivity discovers the actual picture. Therefore, they can be contrasted on the grounds of this single characteristic implying the men’s irrational approach to the matter and the women’s ability to remain impartial.

To summarize, the play shows the effects of prejudice related to gender issues on the attempts to investigate crimes. Therefore, it can be concluded that feminism is the main theme of this literary piece, and it explains the principal dynamics leading to varying outcomes. Thus, the female characters managed to see the truth when all men failed this task because they were biased against women.


Glaspell, Susan. Trifles: A Play in One Act. One-Act-Plays, 2001. University of Babylon, Web.

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