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Trifles by Susan Glaspell

American Literature is studies by nearly ever student that passes through college. One of the most profound examples of feminism in early American literature is Susan Glaspell's play "Trifles". Paper Masters writers custom write research papers and essays on Glaspell's work and clearly explicate how the play is an excellent example of feminist literature.

Facts about Trifles:

  • Trifles is a 1916 one-act play written by Susan Glaspell, based on a murder case she had investigated as Des Moines, Iowa reporter.
  • Widely seen as an early example of feminist drama
  • Glaspell adapted the play into a short story, “A Jury of Her Peers” in 1917.

Trifles' Plot

The original case involved the killing of John Hossack. Trifles by Susan GlaspellHis wife, Margaret, was convicted of the crime although she maintained that an intruder was responsible. Her conviction was overturned on appeal. In the play, the major characters—Minnie and John Wright (murderer and victim)—are never seen on stage. The play revolves around two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who investigate the case. They are portrayed as sympathetic to Mrs. Wright, even though the evidence they uncover points to Minnie’s guilt. They are able to emphasize with her motives, although the male investigators prefer to stick to cold, hard facts and dismiss the “trifles” with which the women concern themselves.

Symbolism in Trifles

The female investigators face the dilemma of protecting Minnie, whom they see as a victim of her husband, or telling the other investigators. Rife with symbolism, Trifles has been widely anthologized. The women ultimately chose to hide evidence as an act of gender loyalty, defying the pompous and self-important male detectives who have dismissed their counterparts because of sexism.

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