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The Value Of The Feminine In Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"

523 words - 2 pages

In "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell we are told the story of an early 20th century farm wife who kills her husband after years of neglect and abuse. One theme that emerges appears to be that the time when men have held absolute dominion over their wives is ending. This is obvious not only from the story of Minnie strangling her husband John, but also because of what happens with the wives of the investigators. After accompanying their husbands to the "scene of the crime" and been dismissed as silly and simple, they reveal that they are really quite intelligent, discover the truth of the situation in the little details of Minnie's kitchen but wind up withholding it from the men in the end. A second theme could also be that the aggressive, logical, left-brained, hard line approaches to discovering the truth may not be as effective as a subtle, empathetic inquiring ones that pay quiet attention to details and feelings. And lastly, this play tells how little the feminine is valued but how effective and powerful it can be.I think the theme transcends the original setting and addresses the universal issue of male dominance and values that still exists. If this story were to take place today, I know the female characters would not be satisfied to go along playing "second fiddle" without expressing their opinions. I would adapt the play to modern times but still retain the male-female/soft-hard contrast. Perhaps the lead detective or prosecutor could be a female who is constantly battling to make her delicate but razor...

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