Question: Education

What assumptions about women do male characters make in Trifles?
In Education | Asked by miabia
Asked from the Trifles study pack
Answers

  First and foremost, we need to note that the professional men have failed to get any evidence because they approached the farm house not as a house, but as a crime scene because it is obvious to them that Mrs.Wright killed her husband.  The evidence that they have been despertaly looking for was only going to be exposed if women were caught hiding it or if men have found it fisrt.  Perhaps even if they found it first they would think of it as a mere trifle, nothing more.  " Nothing here but mere things" is what the sheriff said to convince  Mr. Henderson that the kitchen seems unimportant to look for useful findings and should rather go up stairs, outside the barn or anywhere else other than the kitchen.  If the accused person was a woman, why wouldnt anyone think that the kitchen is a crucial place to find evidence againt her?  Wouldnt that just make us feel that men do not know what to look for? However, the county attorney still looks around the kitchen and sees that it is so messy.  When Mrs peters was talking about how Mrs wright worried for her Jam jars to become stone cold causing the jars to break when the fire dies out.  The sheriff showed us how sarcastic he was, making fun of Mrs. Wright and outrighting women when he said, "well, can u beat the women! Held for murder and worrying about her preserves", there should be more important things that should concerns her due to her situation rather than these perserves. The prosecutor does not think that Mrs. Wright is a good house keeper and start to shove the pans out of place by kicking them which shows us his carelessness and lack of respect towards women as well as their work as he disturbes it further more than it already is.  How can one judge someone he never met or knows nothing about?  Mrs Hale hated it when men enter her kitchen , "snooping around and critizing" her house work skills because apparently, men do not know how hard life is living in a farm and being a wife of a farmer.  These women have hard duties on their shoulders so Mrs. Hale feels for Mrs. Wright as she is a wife of a farmer herself and puts the pans back in place. The County attorney proved to us his inappreciation and contributions to daily function of women's household keeping and he is also diplomatic but not sincere.  Mens revealance to self importance, behaviour and attitude made women feel offensive and make ranks because their feelings are supressed.  when the sheriff and the attorney came downstairs to where the ladies were, they overheard their conversation about whether Mrs. Wright was going to "quilt or knot" the quilt and they began to laugh at the ladies and the attorney was patronizing and condescending about their concerns to the quilt but they do not know that the ladies have started to make a move on valuable conclusions.  Mrs. Hale also mentions that George Henderson, also known as the county attorney is "awful sarcastic in speech" and that he will tease Mrs. Wright if she mentioned to him that she did not wake up when the murder occured.  A tense part in the story is when the sheriff reminded the county attorney to check what his wife was going to take with her for the prisoner.  It seems as if he thinks his wife is untrustworthy and the county attorney moves about the items in the basket and laughing about the apron and saying, " I guess they are are not very dangerous things the ladies picked"   which also makes the ladies feel that their belongings and the equipment that they use daily are no more than mere trifles and so the county attorney went on saying that "a sheriff's wife is amrried to the law". This makes them think that women stick to the rules formed by society's law and dont have what it takes to break it but they did break the law by hidding the evidence from them.  Also these Henderson and peters do not expect these two women to make valuable contributions and are not interested in what these women think or what they might find in the kitchen.  So, know we as readers know that Mr.  Henderson and Mr. Peters think that they got everything under control because they are the professional people who work for the law and bring justice to whoever breaks it.    Men portray themselves as serious minded detectives and try to be very observant when they arent nearly as observant as the women who have been working as detectives in their own way.  Men in the play are portrayed to us as naive and arrogant and just underestimated the capabilities of women to find something useful that might help solve the case.

 Secondly, The two male farmers; Mr. Wright and Mr. Hale have exposed their personalities among the female characters. It is important to mention Mr. Wright and whether he is the true victim or not.  Would we as readers find him guilty?  Even though the character of Mr. Wright does not appear in the play but he is mentioned quite often by the ladies and especially Mrs. Hale as she told Mrs. Peters if she knew what kind of a man Mr. Wright was.  Mrs. Peters only heard about John Wright from what people in town said about him and they talked about him in good ways.  Some which were that he was not a drinker, a man of his word and "paid his debts" but other than that Mrs. Hale said that he was " a hard man to get along with, just to pass the time of day with him was like a raw wind that gets to the bone".  Mr Wright was not a suitable man for Minnie foster as she was more sweeter, softer, cheerful and calmer before getting married to John wright. The two women spoke about Mrs. Wright's isolated life in the hollow cheerless farm which was more like prison that wright made for her(E.Hedges106) with no children making the home a very quiet place.   The setting of the play shows the cruelty and severity of the dull environment in wintry season. John Wright was not a good companian to his wife while he came back home from work and the bird was a "child substitute for the solitary Minnie; the canary's voice was to displace the silence of a coldy authoritarian husband and replace the sounds of unborn children" (Makowsky 62).  He killed the only thing that sings to her and brings her joyness as if he slowly strangled his wife's spirituality, "isolating her physically and mentally from the community of women and holding her incommunicado. In light of this spiritual homicide, he is charged with--and found guilty of--destroying his wife creatively, procreatively, and communicatively"( M. Mary n7)  with the personality that Mr. Wright had ofcourse he was going to get rid of the bird, he didnt like to have on at his house, therefore Mr Wright is just as guilty for comitting a crime but a crime that he wont be punished for.  In addition, the house represented John wright's personality as it was very "cold" to the point where Mrs. Wrights perserves had broke.  The writer was trying to show the behaviours and attitudes of the involved characters as the perserves represented Mrs Wright emotions and how she felt after being treated badly, being pushed to her limits by her cold hearted husband who was stingy and close, meaning he did not spend money on her because what she wanted does not make a difference to Mr. Wright.  As for Mr. Hale, even if we dont see him act superior to his wife, Mrs Hale mentioned that Minnie Wright is not the only women who goes through what she went through, all women do but somewhat differently which makes us know that even her husband is mistreating her and understands what Minnie foster had went through that her husband probably pushed her too far off her limits.  Also, the scene mentioned in the previous paragraph when the county attorney kicks that pans and critizes Mrs. Wrights house keeping skills got on her nerves because it seems to us like her husband does the same things to her and do not appreciate their effort of housekeeping.  Supporting this misbehaviour of the attorney is when Mr. Hale said "well, women are used to worry over trifles" which shows his lack of concern about what are important to women including his wife and dispises womens work.         

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