In a good play, the audience has the chance of analysing many of society’s constructed ideologies from outside and – if he or she is smart enough – arrive to the conclusion that if it does not seem right in the play, it is probably not right in real life. In her play Trifles, Susan Glaspell exposes and questions many stereotypes associated with men and women’s behaviour and their social roles. Further, by paying attention to the way the characterization of Trifles’ personages is based on traditional stereotypes and to the way the actions perpetrated by these same personages do not correspond with what would be normally expected, the audience is forced to question the stereotypes that are ...view middle of the document...
I guess before we’re through she may have something more
serious than preserves to worry about.
HALE. Well, women are used to worrying over trifles. (565)
Women in this play seem to have a well-internalised ideology that places women as housewife’s as well:
MRS HALE: I'd hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and
criticising. [She arranges the pans under sink which the LAWYER had shoved out
of place.] (566)
This proves that Susan Glaspell does not question all the gender stereotypes of her time. In fact, she will use the stereotypical model of differences between – the rational – men and – the emotional – women to explain the fact that the two women and not the men in the play will solve crime.
The play will take an unexpected turn when the two women decide to get out of their passive role and to take action in order to protect Mrs. Wright. They empathize with the woman in jail and more than anything else, they can understand the motives that pushed Mrs. Wright to kill her abusive husband. They can understand what it means to be trapped in a society where women share the same...