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Woman In Time Essay

1685 words - 7 pages

The average woman’s role in society today, starkly contrasts that of the female social norm expressed in eras predating the current; however, similarities do exist. Women once existed in the background, limited to lives of household responsibilities, compelled by overwhelming societal expectations to obey their male counterpart, and preform a set of domestic duties specific to their gender. Today this is not the case, however certain gender related expectations remain intact, and for this reason gender roles are still a prominent aspect of everyday social dynamics. The play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell exemplifies gender roles as they were practiced in the early 1900s, by identifying women's subordinate roles in their marriages, and domestic roles in their households. Multiple Historical accounts, which document women's social and domestic experiences, express similar instances of female inferiority. Even more examples of these gender roles can be observed from literary works of the time. "Trifles" is one such work, throughout which many examples of women's assumed social roles are portrayed. Ultimately Glaspell's play invites the audience to recognize the difference between women's societal role in the past and that of the present and then relate the two by identifying their similarities.
Throughout the entirety of "Trifles" the social norm for women of the era is made apparent and the everyday life of the average 1900s woman is distinctly depicted. One example of the influence of gender roles can be seen in the first two lines of the play when the men call to the women, asking them to come to the fire, this served as an example of the power the men had over their women. In this time period women did not possess the independence to do something without permission, or instruction, so by inviting the women to join them, the men expressed that being allowed to share in their company was a "privilege” rather than a right, as it is commonly viewed today. Additionally women, during that time period, were expected to stand back, while the men took care of things. Women weren't believed to possess the capacity to perform the same jobs as men. Because of this, they were not given the opportunity to be in any situation where they had control of something. In fact women were even considered unfit to dictate their own wants and needs without male assistance. One instance that shows this type of chauvinistic social practice is seen when Mr. Hale states, “I guess you know about how much he talked himself, but I thought maybe if I went to the house and talked about it before his wife, though I said to Harry that I didn't know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John.” This showed that women were allowed no control over any aspect of their lives, men made decisions for them, because they weren't allowed, or even considered capable of making choices for themselves. The play was centered on an investigation, the goal of which was to determine Mr....

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