Essay, 4 pages (1000 words)

Inequality in trifles

Advertising We'll write a high-quality original custom paper on Inequality in trifles just for you with a 15% discount for the 1st order Use a Discount Use a Discount

The play “ Trifles” by Susan Glaspell takes place in a bleak, untidy kitchen of a farmhouse. Farmer John Wright has been murdered and his wife, Minnie Wright, is taken into custody as a suspect to his murder. Sheriff Peters and County Attorney George Henderson pride themselves on their powers of detection and logical reasoning. They begin searching through the house trying to find any sort of evidence. But it is the two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who discover the trifles in which is the key evidence that the men are looking for.

Because this story is set in the twentieth century community, the men take no concern in what the women have to say or do. By the end of this play, the women decide not to tell them men of the evidence they found in the farmhouse since the men believe that they are superior. In the play “ Trifles”, Glaspell shows us that the men have the role of being head of everything and how the women do not get as fairly treated. First, Glaspell shows us that the men in this play, Sherriff Peters, Attorney Henderson, and a neighboring farmer, Lewis Hale, have the role of being head of everything.

She characterizes men as not giving women enough credit for their everyday hard labor. The attorney displays this characteristic the best because he is always looking down on the women. County Attorney states, “ This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies” (1111). This statement shows the readers that he feels the need to tell the women that they can come up to the fire to get warm. He is basically allowing them to come to the fire when that is something that they should be able to do without permission. He also shows this when he says, “ Here’s a nice mess” and “ Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies” (1113-14)?

His commenting on the house exemplifies how he expects the women to take care of the house and that it should always be spotless. In addition, the Sherriff states a very sarcastic phrase about the women by saying, “ They wonder if she is going to quilt it or just knot it” (1116)! Here he is showing how he is much more superior to them because he is looking for evidence for a big murder case, and all the women can do is talk about quilting. All of the men laugh after the Sherriff says this showing that they are all thinking the same way. Later on, as the men come back from getting the fire wood, the attorney says “ Well, ladies, have you decided hether she was going to quilt it or knot it” (1119)? The men must think the women are insignificant because they still think they are really discussing this subject. Furthermore, the only man in the story that does not seem to feel any hierarchy over the women is the neighboring farmer, Mr. Hale. He keeps to himself for most of the play; however, there is one statement made by him that shows he feels a little higher of himself than the women. When the women said how Mrs. Wright was worried about her preserves, the sheriff states, “ Well, you can beat the women!

Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves” (1113). Mr. Hale follows by saying, “ Well, women are use to worrying over trifles” (1114). Here he means the women worry too much about unimportant things. This makes the women seem even more insignificant and useless in dealing with the case. Secondly, Glaspell shows us that the women in this play do not get treated as fairly as the men. The sympathy the reader feels will grow as the play continues. In the beginning when the Sherriff tells the women they could go by the fire, the women do it anyway even though Mrs. Peters states, “ I’m not—cold” (1111).

This shows that Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are forced to follow the men. They have to deal with all sorts of mockery such as being mocked about the fruit, the house, and the quilt. One of the last phrases that is said by the attorney really shows how bad we can feel for them. When he says “ Oh, I guess they’re not very dangerous things the ladies have picked out. No, Mrs. Peters doesn’t need supervising. For that matter, a sheriff’s wife is married to the law. Ever think of it that way Mrs. Peters” (1121)? Mrs. Peters is very offended and replays, “ Not– just that way” (1121).

This shows how the women get very frustrated when the men talk to them. Additionally, the women seem to take their own side against the men, and we can really notice this when they find the bird. We can tell that the women do not plan to tell the men by how they always get quiet about the subject when the men come around. Mrs. Hale even feels guilty by when she says “ I might of known she needed help! I know how things can be for women” (1120). She says this because she feels she could of came over and gave her company instead having a bird for a friend.

So this guilt proves how the women are going to stick together, even more since the murder, and never tell the truth of the matters. At the end of Trifles, we do not really know what happens. I do not think the women will tell on each other because they are sharing the same feelings. The women are loyal to each other, and more so to women than mankind. In conclusion, the men in this story show a great deal of non-feminism and have a huge sense of superiority over the women. The women are the victims of this play, not the man who is murdered. I think that Glaspell has proved this irony in this story.

The women do not even have first names in the story so how could they be at the same standards as the men? In the men’s eyes the women are inferior to them. They are too ignorant to realize that the case is solved by the women who notice the small trifles. For the men’s actions, the women decide not to share their information to protect a friend. With this irony the men will never solve this insignificant murder case in the story.

Thanks for Voting!
Inequality in trifles. Page 1
Inequality in trifles. Page 2
Inequality in trifles. Page 3
Inequality in trifles. Page 4
Inequality in trifles. Page 5

The paper "Inequality in trifles" was written by a real student and voluntarily submitted to this database. You can use this work as a sample in order to gain inspiration or start the research for your own writing. You aren't allowed to use any part of this example without properly citing it first.

If you are the author of this paper and don't want it to be used on EduPony, contact us for its removal.

Ask for Removal

Cite this Essay


EduPony. (2022) 'Inequality in trifles'. 9 November.


EduPony. (2022, November 9). Inequality in trifles. Retrieved from https://edupony.com/inequality-in-trifles/


EduPony. 2022. "Inequality in trifles." November 9, 2022. https://edupony.com/inequality-in-trifles/.

1. EduPony. "Inequality in trifles." November 9, 2022. https://edupony.com/inequality-in-trifles/.


EduPony. "Inequality in trifles." November 9, 2022. https://edupony.com/inequality-in-trifles/.

Work Cited

"Inequality in trifles." EduPony, 9 Nov. 2022, edupony.com/inequality-in-trifles/.

Contact EduPony

If you have any suggestions on how to improve Inequality in trifles, please do not hesitate to contact us. We want to know more: [email protected]