What is the theme of the story "Trifles" written by Susan Glaspell?

One theme of "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell is the unequal treatment of women in society. This is explored through Minnie Wright's husband abusing her and through the male investigators being condescending and dismissive to Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Out of the many themes that this story expands upon, the most salient is gender inequality. A lot of topics surface under the umbrella of this theme. Among many other subthemes that exist within the theme of gender inequality we can find:

  • spousal abuse (husband to wife)
  • social expectations of females
  • women in patriarchal societies
  • women roles in the family
  • isolation 
  • marital expectations

Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are two women who are asked to join their husbands in looking for items to take back to accused husband killer, Minnie Wright. At the time the action begins, Wright is being held at the county jail. This is why she made requests to bring some things back to her that she needs.

There, we can see the first example of differentiation of gender. The accused killer is a female, hence, the men in charge of investigating the scene leave it up to other females, their own wives, to "take care of her." Moreover, Sheriff Peters assumes that his wife would be "scared" of embarking in such a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 712 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team