Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down

1401 words - 6 pages

In 1916, Susan Glaspell wrote the play Trifles and later reproduced it into the short story ?A Jury of Her Peers.? Both the story and the play tell of a murder investigation where women uncover the evidence needed for solving the crime. In the mean time, the men are busy overlooking this evidence and criticizing the women for paying attention to petty details.Susan Glaspell was a pioneer in the movement toward giving women further equality with men. She expressed her views at the beginning of the twentieth century, which was actually before the women?s movement. Glaspell supported feministic views such as birth control, women?s suffrage, and equal rights as men (LHM 1). She wrote many short stories about women and feminism and many were produced in women?s magazines. Combining her own beliefs with the values of her readers, she wrote about love, money, social classes, evil and suffering. One of Glaspell?s beliefs is ?love and money are the most desirable things in the world, but the greater of these is love?(Baechler 188). Glaspell frequently revealed her feministic views through her works using the title, character?s names and personalities and the overall plot of the story. ?A Jury of Her Peers? and Trifles both harbor each of the methods, clearly showing Glaspell?s feminism.One way Glaspell reveals her feministic views is through the title of the play. She chooses the title Trifles to convey the image of a small, insignificant object or action. The women in the story are looked upon by the men as insignificant and that women are only concerned with trivial matters. Louis Hale, a neighbor of the murder victim and assistant to the sheriff?s investigation, remarks ?women are used to worrying over trifles? (Glaspell 77). It is ironic; however, that through the ?trifles? the women reveal the conclusive evidence the men are unable to find.Feminism is also presented in the play through the names Glaspell chooses for her characters. John and Minnie Wright are the two characters the play is centered around. Mr. and Mrs. Wright represent ?Mr. and Mrs. Right? of today?s society; however, they are quite the opposite. The last name Wright suggests that John thinks of himself as ?Mr. Right.? Minnie is forced to give up the life that she lived before simply because John told her to, as with her singing. He believes everything he says and does is right, and his wife should abide by his rules. He seems to think that just because ?he [doesn?t] drink, and [keeps] his word as well as most?and [pays] his debts? he is the ideal husband (Glaspell 201-2). Minnie Wright?s name is important in more than one way. Minnie connotes the word ?mini? which represents the relationship Minnie has with her husband. Minnie is forced to do whatever her husband tells her to; she lives completely under his control. Minnie is also a characteristic of women?s ?tiny? role in society. Her name reflects all of women?s inferiority to men. ??Between the Wrights and men and women in...

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