How can "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker and "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell be connected by themes?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Solidarity among women is one theme that occurs in both Triffles and Everyday Use and it may be symbolized by the use of the of the quilt.

In Everyday Use the quilts were a symbol of family unity and solidarity among the mothers and daughters of the family. These were heirlooms made by struggling women from generation to generation, and they represented the struggles of womanhood, the affinity of family, and the need for identity.

When Dee came to her mother's house to claim the quilts, it became a struggle, since they had been promised to Maggie, her less glamorous sister. However, Maggie wanted the quilts as a way to remember her ancestors while Dee just wanted to to display them as artifacts in her home. In the end, the mother bestowed the quilts upon Maggie, because Maggie was willing to give them away just to maintain the solidarity with the family.

In Trifles, when Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters stay back with Minnie making observations on the untidy state of the house, they realize that this woman who once was happy and carefree and cheerful, has fallen into a deep state of depression, oppression and despair. While their husbands checked for evidence to incriminate Minnie, their wives were trying to hide it away: They knew that Minnie must have snapped and killed her husband, yet, they also knew that kind of monster he was.

Yet, as they see the dead canary in the cage, and Minni's state of mind, they silently conclude that they have to stick together for Minnie, even against her husbands authortity. In Trifles, the quilt is one of the "trifles" that the men take for granted, but send a message to the women: The stitching in it was "frantic and uneven", clearly a represenation of Minnie's state of mind.

Therefore, female solidarity is a theme that could be connected to both Triles and Everyday Use.

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