Susan Glaspell's “Trifles” and Domestic Abuse

The marginalization of women is the focus of the story written by Glaspell. In order to save Mrs. Wright from murder, two women help in concealing the truth thus making it impossible for the jury to reach a conclusive hearing. In the play, Glaspell employs the use of symbolism in order to develop the story and create the theme of marginalization. The marginalization of the women in the twenty-first century is revealed in the speech and actions of the various characters in the play. The action of the two women leads to the liberation of Mrs. Wright and the concealment of the challenges of the evidence (Glaspell, 2010, p.23). The challenge of women and the disorganization associated with women empowerment and rights protection. The case of Mrs. Wright involves the need to analyze the mental situation which could not be undertaken. In fact, discrimination and gender fallacy is revealed in the behavior of the sheriff and other men in the play.

The women decide to protect Mrs. Wright because of the attitude of men in the whole investigation. In the play, men are revealed as very cocky and view women as not important making the women take a different stand. The major contributor to their attitude is the treatment of women in society. Mrs. Wright is a victim of domestic violence as revealed in the actions of the play. The women’s presence understands the challenge faced by women and they are determining to rescue Mrs. Wright based on the evidence presented (Glaspell, 2010, p. 36). They cover up the evidence because of pity. The women have pity on their friend because of the conflicts and the challenge she faced in married. Pity leads to the support revealed in the play because of the domestic violence and the understanding of the challenge faced by women in society. While the detectives are cocky, they present male chauvinism in the society. In fact, they are not able to evaluate the situation effectively because they overlook the vital evidence while the women also conspire to hide the vital information from them.

In addition, the friendship before the different marriages is a major factor contributing to the actions of the women. In fact, their friendship is vital in the development of the understanding between the action of Mrs. Wright and the challenge of hiding the evidence that could lead to a serious challenge in the case. The understanding of the needs to protect friends is revealed in the actions of the women in the kitchen (Glaspell, 2010, p. 6). Friendship leads to an understanding of the challenges in life and the need to support friends to overcome the challenge. The understanding of the challenges of friends enables support to be given when needed. However, in this case, the support was to protect Mrs. Wright against the judgment over the murder of the husband. Friendship of the women plays an integral part in the decision reached. Friendship leads to a better understanding of the personalities of individuals. In this case, they understood that Mrs. Wright had been forced to kill the husband due to the circumstances revolving around domestic violence and physical abuse.

Revenge can be a major issue in societies with oppression and gender biases. The action of women is based on revenge and the need to overcome women’s oppression. In the play, the action of the women is based on the need to revenge over arrogant men especially the sheriff and the investigators. In fact, the focus of the women is on protecting a fellow woman despite the murder committed by him. The need to exert their authority in society leads to the actions of the women especially in the hiding of evidence and behaving like nothing is wrong. In the conclusion of the play, investigators indicate that the death of Mr. Wright was suicide and the case is closed. The action of the women in the protection of Mrs. Wright leads to the understanding of the discrimination and segregation of women in society. It leads to understanding of the role of the women in the play and the hiding of the challenge.

At first, the sheriff views the death of Mr. Wright as an act of suicide. The concept reveals male chauvinism and generalization which also reveals segregation. From the talk of the sheriff, it is evident that the male fork views women as inferior and do not consider them as violent or with the ability to kill (Glaspell, 2010, p. 36). Therefore, in the jury, the woman wins the case and allows the other to think she is innocent because of the concealment of evidence by the two other women. In conclusion, the women in the twentieth century reveal that domestic oppression is prevalent with the focus being on the ability to oppress of creating a positive image.


Glaspell, S. (2010). Triffles. New York: Bakers Plays.

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