When a woman marries she is expected to give up her family, her last name, and her virginity. In other words she is expected to give up the life she knew. Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles tells the story of a woman that gave up her all to please society and her husband. The story examines a woman who sacrificed her tranquility, her talents, and her individuality. In the end, the woman even gave up her freedom.
A person’s home should be more than a place to shelter them from the elements. It should be a place where one could express him/her self freely and not have to worry about any harm coming to them. In the play Trifles Mrs. Wright lived in a house that was anything but calm. In block eleven, first line of the play one of Mrs. Wright’s friends Mrs. Hale states: “It never seemed a very cheerful place”. This being a very odd remark the county sheriff asked her to elaborate. “No, I don’t mean anything, but I don’t think a place’d be any cheerfuller for John Wright’s being in it.” (Glaspell B: 11, L: 5). On this statement alone one can take from this that Mr. Wright wasn’t a very pleasant man to be around, let alone be married to. She goes on to tell a little more about Mr. Wright’s character “… he didn’t drink, and kep…
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… women. So that men won’t follow the path of Mr. Wright and women wont fall into a trap like Mrs. Wright did. Bourn agrees by adding: “Trifles is not just a reflection, however. It is also a call for women to use their perceived powerless as a tool to manipulate the system, and a warning to men that a system where one segment of the population dominates and oppresses another cannot and will not be tolerated forever”(Bourn 2).
Bourn, Bryan D. www.hongik.edu/~yhyo/glaspel.html A feminist Criticism of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles. 04-19-2001
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Etext.Lib.virginia.edu/ebooks/Glist.html
Free Glass Menagerie Essays: The Destruction of Laura
The Destruction of Laura in The Glass Menagerie
In Tennessee William’s play, The Glass Menagerie, the character of Laura is like a fragile piece of glass. The play is based around a fragile family and their difficulties coping with life.
Laura unable to survive in the outside world – retreating into their apartment and her glass collection and victrola. There is one specific time when she appears to be progressing when Jim is there and she is feeling comfortable with being around him. This stands out because in all other scenes of the play Laura has never been able to even consider conversation with a “Gentleman Caller.”
Laura’s mother and brother shared some of her fragile tendencies. Amanda, Laura’s mother, continually lives in the past. Her reflection of her teenage years continually haunts Laura. To the point where she forces her to see a “Gentleman Caller” it is then that Tom reminds his mother not to “expect to much of Laura” she is unlike other girls. But Laura’s mother has not allowed herself nor the rest of the family to see Laura as different from other girls. Amanda continually lives in the past when she was young a pretty and lived on the plantation. Laura must feel she can never live up to her mothers expectations. Her mother continually reminds her of her differences throughout the play.
Every time the family comes to a confrontation someone retreats to the past and reflects on life as it was back then, not dealing with life as it is for them today. Tom, assuming the macho role of the man of the house, babies and shelters Laura from the outside world. His mother reminds him that he is to feel a responsibility for his sister. He carries this burden throughout the play. His mother knows if it were not for his sisters needs he would have been long gone. Laura must pickup on some of this, she is so sensitive she must sense Toms feeling of being trapped. Tom dreams of going away to learn of the world, Laura is aware of this and she is frightened of what may become of them if he were to leave.
Laura feels she will never find someone that will take care of her. This is very upsetting because it is obvious that it is very important to everyone in the family.