Throughout history it is shown that women have been looked down upon by men. They have been considered inferior to the opposite sex and even as a form of property. “Trifles” take place in 1916 where the rights of women are yet to be stated a place that is ruled by the paterfamilias, the men. Only men knew what was right, only men knew what was best for their families. Men criticized women a lot and made fun of them.
Men do not understand the difficulty of these duties and the hard working hours that are needed to keep a farmhouse and or a family tidy and well organized. Women just make their lives look easier by cooking, cleaning and caring for their children. Although today, we are not burdened with this struggle of being physically and emotionally abused by men, women in the early 1900’s struggled to break free from this mold formed by society.
In the “Trifles” this type of living made lively, singing, happy Minnie Wright turn into a mentally disturbed, cold and routine robot after she married her husband, Mr. Wright. However, in the play women are far from being decorative. They actually show greater strength than the surrounding men. As the men went upstairs to investigate what happen to the husband, the women stays down stairs. They were able to look at the scene and pay attention to the details which lead them to uncover the clues that Mrs.
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Wright murdered her husband. At that time before the men came downstairs, the women hid the evidence and did not judge Mrs. Wright for her action. I can only say that moral justice prevailed and that law should not be so strict in some cases because there are more psychological aspects in a human mind. The women hid the 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 of defiance against a callous patriarchal society.
A murder case like this at that particular time was a shocking thing to solve because it involved tiny details that men could not understand or view without the help of women. Details that are presented in women lifestyle, Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale was able to relate to Mrs. Wright to the murder of the killing of her husband. This conflict is the moral justice versus the legal justice meaning that justice can be based on what somebody conscience suggest what is right or wrong, rather than on what that strict law says to be done.
Although Mrs. Peters was hesitating about the decision of hiding the evidence, she knew it was the right thing to do. The women understood the moral law and the Sheriff Hale and the County Attorney represented legal justice. In this world women have always been treated second best by men and like they were never good enough for careers outside of the home. The sex of a person should not determine what type of job a person should have. Due to those facts the women in “Trifles” stood by each other to cover Mrs. Wright tracks.
on Moral Law in Trifles
Trifles: A Moral Justification for Murder. The one act play “Trifles” depicts the views and passions of both men and women during the late-nineteenth century regarding the role of a woman.
The one act play “Trifles” depicts the views and passions of both men and women during the late-nineteenth century regarding the role of a woman. The characters in the play are the County Attorney, the Sheriff, and Mr. Hale, who are accompanied by Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters into the Wright’s home to investigate the murder of Mr. Wright.
Below you will find the important quotes in Trifles related to the theme of Gender Allegiance vs. Legal Duty. Trifles Quotes. “I’d hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing.” “Of course it’s no more than their duty.”. Related Characters: Lewis Hale (speaker), Mrs. Peters (speaker), George Henderson, Henry Peters.
Because Trifles is a murder mystery in which the sleuths decide to hide the evidence of the crime and thus end by aiding the murderer, the play leaves open the question of the meaning of duty and justice.
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