Susan Glaspell’s Trifles: How Minnie Will Fare in Her Murder Trial and Why. Discuss the Evidence and the Involvement of the Two Women in the Play
Hale, wives to the two local men. While the men bluster and tramp around the farmhouse searching for clues, the women discover bits of evidence in the “trifles” of a farmer’s wife—her baking, cleaning and sewing. Because the men virtually ignore the women’s world, they remain blind to the truth before their eyes.
Glaspell was writing about more than just a mystery, she is portraying the different perceptions between men and women. She was writing on misogyny, and the awful effect it can have on women. When a woman is isolated and abused she can do heinous things that she may not typically be capable of. The question is does Minnie deserve the punishment deserved for murder or has she been punished enough? The women surely seem to think so as they hide the evidence from the county attorney and sheriff. As an oppressed group they felt they had the burden of protecting Minnie.
Peters, can quilt together the pieces of Susan Glaspell's life. Her coverage of the trial of Mrs. Hossack when she was a young reporter and her visit to the Hossack farmhouse provided factual knowledge 'of abuse and society's responses and non-responses. The kitchen of the farmhouse gave her the set for Trifles. Her exposure to feminist theory associated with the first wave of feminism in New York City, Provincetown and Chicago gave her a clear theoretical basis for her feminist views.
Fetterley, Judith. "Introduction", Provisions: A Reader from 19th- Century American Women. Ed. Judith Fetterley. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1985. pp1-40.
Parton, Sara Willis. "Fannie Fern: 1811-1872". Provisions: A Reader from 19th-Century American Women. Ed. Judith Fetterley. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1985. PP241-48.
Skaggs, Peggy. "Kate Chopin: 1851-1904." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Vol.2 Gen. Ed. Paul Lauter. 2nd Ed. Lexington: D.C. Heath, 1994. PP635-37.