Twanna SimpsonLecturer: Ms. PowellIntroduction to Literature 217 March 2015 Sometimes men believe that women are more intrigued by the insignificant things than the unimportant things. A ‘Trifle’ has two main meanings, it can be referred to as a desert and it also has to do with treating someone or something as though they are not important. The denotative meaning of ‘Trifles’, focuses on the men’s attitude towards the women in the play.
They treat the women as though they were not important and that they were just there because of circumstances. It also looks at the different perceptions women have when making decisions. Susan Glaspell focuses on the fact that women are treated as insignificant and they are actually the most valuable when making decisions or solving a situation.. The men’s attitude towards the women in the play shows how they do not consider them important. Evidence of this is on page one in the first stage direction when the Sheriff, the county Attorney, Mr.
Hale and the women entered the house. Here, it is clear that the men were the first to enter the house and the women stand close together near the door. This symbolizes that the men perceived themselves to be higher than the women in terms of authority so the women lagged behind due to this. Also, in line one when the County Attorney said “This feel good”. Come up to the fire, ladies”. Mrs.
Peters replied “I’m not-cold”, this shows that the women felt intimidated by the men because they made them feel insignificant. The women were deemed insignificant because the men left the women downstairs and they went upstairs, evidence of this is in line 48 where the stage direction says “the women listen to the men’s steps on the stairs, then looks about the kitchen”. The symbolism of this is that the men had no regard for the women and because women are mostly associated with the kitchen as it is where they are most dominant and it is considered to be their comfort zone.
. In addition, Minnie was also considered to be a ‘Trifle’ in her own home. Her husband Mr.
Wright did not show any care or love for her. He only did what made him happy and took away all that made her happy. As a result Minnie always had to try things that could make her feel happy because she felt like a prisoner in her own home.
Whenever she cleans her husband did not care because in those days women had to carry heavy buckets of water to do their household duties. Her husband just came from the farm and wiped his dirty hands in her clean towels, this showed Mr. Wright is inconsiderate because he knows Minnie has to go through a lot in order to keep the house clean and tidy. Evidence of this is in line 31 when the County Attorney said “Dirty Towels!, Not, much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” This shows that the men did not care about the women either because they believe the women should be submissive to the men and always pick up after them. Also, because Minnie Wright did not sew one of her quilts properly gave the women a hint that she was not being treated fairly by her husband. Minnie was diminished in the eyes of others because she was socially isolated from her friends and neighbors.
This can be seen in lines 36 and 40 when Mrs. Hale said “I’ve not seen much of her of late years. I’ve not been in this house-it’s more than a year. It never seemed a very cheerful place”. This means that Mrs. Hale was good friends with Minnie Wright but because of her husband she did not feel comfortable being there because he did not treat her good.
Mr. Wright even took away the one thing Minnie cherished the most which was her bird. He killed the bird because he did not consider it important; Mrs. Hale said “No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird-a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that too”. This shows that Mr.
Wright took away everything from Minnie because he did not consider it important when in fact, that was the only thing that made her feel comfortable and like she belonged.. The women in the play Minnie, Mrs.
Hale and Mrs. Peters all face the same thing, they are considered to be ‘Trifles’. The attitude of the men lead the women to start believing they do worry themselves over unimportant things and they are below men in terms of their level of dominance and to be able to do what makes them happy.
The women are always looked at as the ones who should be in the kitchen doing house chores and not being able to make themselves feel comfortable. The women are looked at as the ones who should always be in the kitchen and cleaning up after the men. Women have desires and needs just like how Minnie had a passion for singing and she tried to do things that made her happy but her husband did not allow it. He made her feel like a prisoner in her own home by taking away everything that makes her happy. The statement made by Mr. Hale in line 30 that says “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles”.
This means that the women are more concerned over the unimportant things than the things that are actually important. After Mrs. Hale made that statement the women ‘knot’ or moved closer together. This emphasizes that the women feel stronger when they are together than being around the men because they know what they are looking for as they found many clues that showed Minnie’s lifestyle and what may have led to her husband’s death.
The women isolated themselves because that’s the only way they felt comfortable because the men did not treat them fairly, they always had to be behind them no matter what.