Sean de Lacy
May 3, 2001
Hamlet once stated, "Frailty, thy name is woman"(qtd. in Starr 225).An idea that women are weak is not a new idea to society; it is one that has been examined and documented by sociologist all over the world.Sociologists have studied the idea that men control society and women are submissive to men.This form of social organization in which males dominate females is known as a patriarchy (Macionis 358).Patriarchy literally means "the rule of fathers" (Macionis 358).Historically, a patriarchy has rested upon a belief in the innate superiority of males who, therefore, legitimately dominate females (Macionis 358).In today's society, this belief is also known as sexism.Sexism, defined as the belief that one sex is innately superior to the other (Macionis 358), plays a large role in the actions of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters in Susan Glaspell's Trifles.In Trifles, the women show their motivation to prove Mrs. Wright innocent, through actions and words in response to th!
e attitude of sexism displayed by the men toward them. The idea of women being inferior to men only produces a theme for the play and shows how many different conflicts drive the plot. In the play "trifles, by Susan glaspell, we watch as the central characters struggle to resolve a conflict between compassion and the strict requirements of the law.
There are many conflicts that drive the plot, but the speech between the men illustrates their belief in dominating women and drives the main theme.Mr. Hale comments, "Well, women are used to worrying over trifles" (Glaspell 928).This comment demonstrates the men’s frame of mind, one of an obvious dominance toward women, in this play.Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find a partly finished quilt done by Mrs. Wright, aloud they question whether Mrs. Wright was going to knot or continue quilting.In response, the sheriff, wh…