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Marriage in The Stronger by Johan August Strindberg, and Trifles by Susan Glaspell: A Comparative Analysis - Essay Example

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Both one-act plays, Trifles and The Stronger depict the baneful effect of broken marriage in two homes: reputed ‘good husbands,’ the patriarchal oppression, characteristic coldness, the underappreciated woman’s work, forgiveness/unforgiveness, establishment of discord and disorder, and the testing of strength of character. …
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Marriage in The Stronger by Johan August Strindberg, and Trifles by Susan Glaspell: A Comparative Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages Set in society which held marriage in high regard, one obtains an in-depth look at the spouses who conflict with one another. The irony is that although underestimated and devalued, women’s trifles weigh very significantly. Both husbands exert male dominance in their homes while both wives balance accounts by retaliating.
In The Stronger and Trifles, both husbands are characterized as “good.” Although one man was unfaithful and uncaring while the other was hard and cheerless, they are both married men who do not manifest loving care toward their wives, nor do they invest the time necessary to foster a stronger bond. The irony of this characteristic goodness of the men ushers in the theme of appearance and reality. The men are well-respected in society and pay their dues. They are industrious, work and have homes. These outward appearances belie what is actually occurring. Mr. Wright would keep his word and pay all his bills. Likewise, Mrs. X esteems Bob as “a good little man.” Another irony is that although Bob is untrue to her in marriage, by entertaining the advances of other younger women, Bob and Mrs. X both concur that he is still true because he tells her the truth about his extramarital encounters. The good man then in the play is not innately good but is allegedly good, because he maintains a certain apparent status in the public eye. Nevertheless, the women alone know the truth of the patriarchal oppression their good husbands inflict on them....
Healthy families are founded on a couple who love, respect, and remain committed to one another’s welfare – till death parts them. In the case with Mrs. X and Bob, the illicit relationship intrudes and subsists. Supplanting the wife, Ms. Y’s effect on the home is clearly seen in Mrs. X and Bob’s son’s name and in Bob’s preferences. Like an oppressor, Bob masks his own deceit and inculpates the women who chase him. Bob is a man with power who occupies an elevated position in government as well as in the theatre industry. His familiarity with commanding positions fosters a domineering character within him which filters into the home. In the private and public sphere, he wields authority without respect to others. Mrs. X takes the observer backstage, imitating a typical scene at home where Bob acts imperiously toward his servants when he feels cold. In Trifles, one witnesses the effect of male dominance in the Wright’s home by Mr. Wright’s willful ignorance of his wife’s emotional needs. He does not play the role of an affectionate husband and as a result of the withering effect of Mr. Wright’s rule, her soul languishes and becomes emaciated. Mrs. Hanes and Mrs. Peters recall that Mrs. Wright was never the lonesome, dispirited, careless woman that she ends up becoming. Owing to Mr. Wright’s hard demeanor and emotional abuse, Mrs. Wright suffers alone in her marriage. The effect of the hard dictatorship is reflected allegorically by the bird in a cage and also the strangled bird. The bird represents Mrs. Wright who used to love singing according to the women but abruptly discontinued choir participation and lapsed into careless dressing. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters make valid connections, comparing Mrs. Wright to a sort of “bird ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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