How do you think the "feminism" in Trifles differs from the "feminism" in Machinal?

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Both Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal are dramas that explore gender roles and feminism in their stories of murder.

Glaspell’s Mrs. Wright murders her husband because he was an abusive partner. Knowing this, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale conceal the damning evidence that would prove Mrs. Wright’s guilt....

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Both Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal are dramas that explore gender roles and feminism in their stories of murder.

Glaspell’s Mrs. Wright murders her husband because he was an abusive partner. Knowing this, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale conceal the damning evidence that would prove Mrs. Wright’s guilt. The two women do this right under the noses of their husbands, who believe their wives are incapable of such a conspiracy. Feminism in this story means women helping other women whom they feel deserve said help. The women in the play effectively save Mrs. Wright from a fate they don’t think is justified.

Conversely, Treadwell’s Helen never wants the marriage or child she has with George in the first place. George never mistreats her, but Helen despises him. When she conspires to murder George, Helen receives no sympathy from any other women, unlike Glaspell’s Mrs. Wright. In fact, Helen is doomed to the electric chair for her crimes. Feminism in this play indicates that a patriarchal society completely stifles a woman’s potential, forcing her into a life she doesn’t want. If a woman dares to escape this life, society will punish her gravely. Helen is a less sympathetic character because she doesn’t fit the victim role that society expects of women who wield violence in order to get what they want. Treadwell, I think, emphasizes that women are not delicate creatures who need to be protected.

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