Prompt: Glaspell “Trifles” (177-187) Vol 2

Prompt: Glaspell “Trifles” (177-187) Vol 2

Read Vol. 2: Glaspell “Trifles” (177-187) How do the gender mores reflected in these scales help us to understand Glaspell’s characters? How much have perceived “merits” and “demerits” changed in the last hundred years? The artistry and integrity of women’s domestic efforts have often been overlooked by male authorities as you will see in this week’s assigned reading by Susan Glaspell. Although her ordinary housewives may not graduate to crime-solving careers, I suspect that you will be able to see how they fit into a long tradition of female detectives. How does “feminine intuition” contribute to plot and characterization in Trifles? How do the female characters employ women’s traditional ways of knowing to discover the motive for the crime? Side Info: If you’ve ever read (or watched the BBC adaptations (Links to an external site.)) of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple (Links to an external site.) series, you’ll recognize the trope, in which the amateur, female sleuth proves more competent than dismissive male professionals. Miss Marple’s “little old lady” status often allows her access to others’ secrets because she is supposed to be a gossip. She isn’t taken seriously enough to be seen as a threat by law-breakers and she isn’t immediately perceived as competition by authorities. She’s mistaken as a busy body until she proves the wise woman by narratives’ end. This mini-history by Laura Thompson (Links to an external site.)provides some background that may help you to identify Glaspell’s characters as precursors to the female detective genre.