Trifles Historical Context

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In many ways, Susan Glaspell's success at the turn of the century signaled a new age for women, and Trifles, still her best-known play, represents the struggles women of her era faced. Born in 1876, Glaspell's grandparents were some of the pioneers who settled her hometown of Davenport, Iowa.

In an age when few women went to college, and even fewer actually sought careers beyond menial labor outside the home, Glaspell did both, graduating from Drake University with a Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1899, and immediately embarking on a lifetime of freelance journalism, playwriting, and fiction writing.

In 1916, the year Glaspell wrote Trifles for the Provincetown Players, some of the important issues of the day were women's suffrage, birth control, socialism, union organizing, and the psychological theories of Sigmund Freud. Women had not yet achieved the right to vote, and in most states women could not sit...

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This section contains 694 words
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Buy the Trifles Study Guide
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Trifles from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.