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Susan Glaspell’s Trifles: Transformation of Women as They Discover Clues, and the Possible Consequences for Them

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Trijles was Glaspetrs first play for the Provincetown and was produced at the Wharf Theatre in Provincetown on 8 August 1916

The play conveys the emasculating experience of being a farm wife in a lonely, bleak landscape of Iowa during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The main characters -John Wright and his wife, Minnie- a.re never seen and assume a shadowy presence against which the West of the characters are pitted, and whose struggle is cchoed by the two women figures on stage who realize «lhe prison house that patriarchy has constructed of marriage».

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Most women were treated this was and lived very similar lives as Mrs. Hale says I might have known she needed help! I know how things can be”for women. I tell you, it’s queer, Mrs. Peters. We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things”it’s all just a different kind of the same thing. Before Mrs. Wright had gotten marriard she lived a very happy life. She was viewed as a nice and inosent person. After she got married her life started to go into a downwards spiral and there was nothing she could do about it. At the time there was no such thing as womans rights or respecting them in general and unfortunatley a lot of woman were not living the lifes they thought they would live. They lived in a male dominated society. Mr. Wright was reviewd as a fine man who did a good job with his responsibilities. He did not really care about his wife. He abandoned her happiness and did not care much about her opinions. Mrs

Wright really enjoyed singing but Mr. Wright did not apporive of such thing. He took awy many aspects of her freedom. Mrs. Wright was getting sick of being ridiculed everyday of her life. One day Mr. Wright killed her canary. That bird was her only company during her long, lonley and isolated days. The canary’s singing would put Mrs. Wright at ease and take her away from her isolation for short periods of time. The canary and Mrs. Wright were alike in many different ways. Mrs. Wright and the bird both enjoyed singing but Mr. Wright destroyed that for the both of them. As it states in the play No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird”a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too. (124) They were alike in the case of both being caged up all day in the house while Mr. Wright was home. As of today women are not seen in the same way as women were in the 20th century. It is not as much as a male dominated societey as of today, women have a place in the publics sphereWomen now can play the role as the money maker in households and it is not looked at in an uncanny way at all. While some men in this day in age play the role as the housewife. Women are respected and have a say in everything. They have just as much as a place in this world as men do.

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Another crucial form of spousal abuse is an emotive one which is defined by Beverly Engel (Quoted in Kathryn,2005:46) as "any nonphysical behavior or attitude that is designed to control, intimidate, subjugate, demean, punish, or isolate another person."Most studies agree on that a victim of emotional abuse would go through bad psychological state as well, therefore the psychological abuse is considered as a sub type of emotional abuse Psychological abuse has a profound damage trauma as its absolute negative impact and social consequences on the abused victims are undeniable because ―it damages the psychological well-being of the victim‖.(Kathryn,2005,49) Mistreatment of the partner can also be considered as a type of spousal abuse which is termed as ―physical abuse‖ .These interchangeable terms are usually used to refer to "an act [that is] carried out with the intention, or perceived intention, of causing physical pain or injury to another person" (Straus & Gelles, 1986: 40). Although the physical abuse is the worst type as in severe cases it might lead to death, yet most contemporary studies, that have been carried out on the abused women, come with the following conclusion: ―It is the emotional abuse, rather than the physical one, which has much deeper effect on the victims.‖ (Straus & Gelles, 1986:42).

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In the end, women's rebellion herc falls back on muted dissent and not overt disruption

Hcnce, the play becomes more of «an awakening to the dilemmas of womanhood». than a radical tackling of them. Yet as audience witnesses to the process of revelation, we are lcft with the option to do othcrwise if we allow ourselves to read into Minnie's story and see to what extent «We ali go through the same things».

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Straus, Murray A. & Gelles, Richard J. 1986, Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American

Johnson, P. 1998, A History of the American People. New York: Harper Perennial Press. P. 179.

Kathryn, Patricelli, 2005, The Effects of Abuse, Cambridge: South End Press. PP. 46-49.

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