This Essay Illustrates The Bondage Of Marriage To Women In The Early 20th Century. I Use Glaspell's "Trifles" To Illustrate My Point

697 words - 3 pages

Symbolic Bondage"Trifles" is an extraordinary American drama. The title of this means "something of little importance or consequence." (Webster, 1374) It was written during the women's' movement for equality. The women in this selection are mocked numerous times by the men. Glaspell emphasizes through symbolic representation the life of a woman during her time, and what the movement represented. She states that a change must take place for women in order for them to obtain their personal freedom from the bondage of marriage.The begging of this selection takes place in the Wrights' kitchen. There are two women; Mrs. Hale, the neighbor, Mrs. Peters, the sheriff's wife, and three men; Mr. Hale, the neighbor, Mr. Peters, the Sheriff, and Mr. Henderson the attorney. The men are there looking for evidence against Mrs. Wright for the murder of her husband. The women came along to help retrieve it ...view middle of the document...

Even when the they are holding Mrs. Wright's quilt, which was evidence of her murdering her husband, the men ridicule the women.Sheriff: They wonder if she was going to quilt it or just knot it! (laughing, the women look abashed)Mrs. Hale: Mrs. Peters, look at this one. Here, this is the one she was working on, and look at the sewing! All the rest of it has been so nice and even. And look at this! It's all over the place. Why it looks like as if she didn't know what she was about! (1208)The women fix the quilt and conceal the rest of the evidence from the men. This symbolizes that women must unite. Glaspell continues these representations throughout the selection.Through words, Glaspell conveys that women are tired of their "womanly duties" and that eventually women will win their freedom. The bird in this selection has numerous meanings. The bird alone symbolizes Mrs. Wright before she was married. The birdcage symbolizes her marriages to her husband, and her loss of freedom.Mrs. Hale: She-come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and -fluttery. Show she did change...(1209-1210)When the bird is found dead it parallels with her marriage has killed who she once was.Mrs. Hale: No, Wright wouldn't like the bird-a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too. (1211)The rope around the husband's neck represents Mrs. Wright's oppression, and the result is her freedom. Glaspell's message is loud and clear to all who read it.Through her words, Glaspell illustrates the life of a woman, and the bondages of marriage. This piece illustrates how men, in her time, viewed women and their labor. She conveys women must unite and fight for their personal freedom, and men must support this change. It is only then, when women will be treated equally, and their lives will not seem as trifles.Work CitedGlaspell, Susan. "Trifles." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vol. D. Ed. Nina Bayman, Julia Reidhead, Marian Johnson, and Brian Baker. 500 Fifth Ave, New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2003. 1203-1212.Webster College Dictionary. NY: Random House. 1997. 1374

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