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Feminism as Archetype fpr Overcoming Prejudice - Essay Example

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Date Option 2: “Trifles” Feminism as Archetype for Overcoming Prejudice “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspell, is a one-act play that illustrates the archetypal theme of feminism to offset the patriarchal society and prejudice that is placed upon women because they are considered less than men in all aspects, including intelligence…
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Feminism as Archetype fpr Overcoming Prejudice

Download file to see previous pages... With that said, a close look will be taken in Glaspell’s “Trifles” to illuminate the portrayal of women within a patriarchal society and define how those women work together to overcome their oppression, even though their choices may not have been the best in regards to actual justice. To begin with, “Trifles” is about two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale and the discoveries they make about a Minnie, a woman wanted for the murder of John Wright, her husband. They find conclusive evidence of her guilt, but are sympathetic to Minnie, whom they both see as the victim in the situation. But what, then, is the purpose of justice if women like Minnie can kill whomever they please without consequence? The truth is that Minnie may or may not have been a victim of her situation. She may have had reason to kill John, but there is no real evidence to suggest that she couldn’t have reasoned with him and gotten out of the relationship. Perhaps John was an extremely violent man who would never have let her leave and who would have continued to abuse her for the rest of her life until she was finally killed herself. Or maybe, Minnie was seeing things in the relationship that weren’t as bad as she believed and she could have found a different route for resolution. The plot is frustrating in that the men are portrayed as cold hearted investigators who care nothing about Minnie’s potential reasons for the murder, or that she might have done so out of self defense or to save herself from a situation she felt she couldn’t control or escape from. This is maddening for a reader because both sides have clear reasons for viewing the situation as they do, and both sides are ultimately correct in their assumptions. Where the women take the sympathetic route, the men take the analytical route, and both come to the same conclusions about Minnie; it is the execution of her justice, however, where the two sides differ. Because Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale believe Minnie to be guilty but are more sure of her guilt due to being a victim of her situation, they find themselves trapped in the moral dilemma of whether or not to help her or to hand her over to the proper authorities. One thing that “Trifles” achieves is to grant the reader enough information to be taken on the morality trip with Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale as well. Evidence for both sides is presented, and though there is a clear bias as to whether or not the men should be trusted because of their callous and over-bearing nature, a reader has to question their own resolve as to what they would do if placed on either side. To take the feminist route and let Minnie go free, or to punish Minnie for murder, despite whatever led her to commit the act. More, to choose to side with the men leaves the clear impression that such a choice is wrong because of the archetypal manner in which the women are defined. The men are almost cruel in their analytical natures and are described as showing almost zero empathy in their placement of justice. On the opposite side, the women are defined as creatures of pure empathy, sympathetic to the wounded creature of Minnie, willing to help her because she is a human being in pain in need of assistance. It is a jarring sensation, to feel confident in both sides, yet knowing that neither is exactly right. True justice should take both ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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