Analyzing Theme in Susan Glaspell “Trifles.”

The play Susan Glaspell “Trifles” drafted in 1916 presents the attitude culturally on gender and sex role that the society upheld. The political aspects also come out as to what the jury considers just and the action a crime deserves. According to Holstein, the play, “Trifle” at the surface appears to address the competing gender roles and the different perspective of women and men. However, if critically analyzed, it entails a concept that is overwhelming, one way of knowing what the truth is, its explanation, interpretation and how it’s valued (Smith, 2011).Susan Glaspell “Trifles”   has brought out its themes through the use of symbols. One of which stands out is the title of the play “Trifle” meaning trivial things. The things considered insignificant, which include the women`s ideas, isolation of Mrs. Wright whose neighbors regret having not visited her in her closet, and the men undermining women. Sheriff laments about the kitchen, “Nothing here but the kitchen things.” On the contrary, these are the point where the crucial evidence lies. When critically analyzed are the core things (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2017). In my opinion, the central theme of this story is the elusive nature of the truth. These theme wraps the many tightly neat ideas of which forms the basis of these essay: the question whether or not justice has been served.

In the play, Mr. Wright has been killed an issue that brings out judgment and justice, two controversial issues. In the ideal situation, issues involving death are not excusable, the victim has to face “justice” through getting punished. In a similar manor, the “Trifles” a play presenting the society in 1916, has Mrs. Wright the first suspect of Mr. Wright`s murder punished through being jailed without first facing trial. According to the Trifles, Mrs. Wright was unjustly treated. The presentation of symbolic situations like, the bird`s death, the bird`s cage, Mrs. Wright living in isolation, and the names Mr. and Mrs. Wright (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2017) which also forms the theme of the play and if argued can stand as to a reason why Mrs. Wright did not deserve punishment. Hence affirming that justice did not prevail.

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These bring out what to my opinion forms the central theme: the elusive nature of the truth. In the play, the men make the law and are the judges of the court, on the contrary, the women do not participate in the law making and ruled by the laws they never participated in the amendment. Consequently, in the play, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peter pass their jury and finds Minnie guilty of murder but instead of pronouncing punishment on her, they end up justifying her act that it was an escape and plans how to set her free. Mrs. Hale states, “we all go through the same things-it`s all just a different kind of the same thing.”Instead of the men understanding the context like the women did, they were looking for evidence. Mrs. Peter states, “George Henderson said the men are looking primarily for evidence that would show a motive for killing John” (Nikola & Champlin, 2017). Both the men and the women could justify their action hence making the truth elusive.

In conclusion, in case the women gave out the evidence to the Sheriff, justice would not have prevailed against Mrs. Wright whose action was justified by the fact that her husband mistreated her. The vibrant life she had before getting married perished and the only happiness that she had, the bird was killed by her husband. Hence despite her arrest without trial, the fact that the men lacked evidence made justice prevail upon Mrs. Wright.


Nikola, & Champlin. (2017, May 8). Trifles Trifles. Retrieved from

Shmoop Editorial Team. (2017, July 19). Triffles Summary. Retrieved from

Smith, N. (2011, December 6). Analysis of the Play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell. Retrieved from

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