Trifles Questions and Answers
by Susan Glaspell

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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.

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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...

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mcquadev14 | Student

The theme is that woman are not treated aas fairly as  men. and it is sad 

dseals3 | Student

Theme: Men Do Not Appreciate Women

The men within this play betray a sense of self-importance. They present themselves as tough, serious-minded detectives, when in truth they are not nearly as observant as the female characters. Their pompous attitude causes the women to feel defensive and form ranks. Not only do Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters bond, but they choose to hide evidence as an act of compassion for Mrs. Wright. Stealing the box with the dead bird is an act of loyalty to their gender and an act of defiance against a callous patriarchal society.