Dr. Lee Prescott
October 30, 2014
Revenge or Knot
The saying “revenge is sweet” is common knowledge amongst most people. In order for one to seek revenge can only mean that someone else has done something wrong to him or her first. Yet, “once a wrong is done, the next wrong comes more easily” (Budzisewski 21) but to intentionally cause harm or do wrong to someone back, only puts him or her down to the wrongdoer’s level. Maimonides states in his Jewish code of law that “a person should be accustomed to rise above his feelings about all worldly matters” (Zaklikowski) and the single question one has to ask themselves when planning revenge is: “[is my] moral sense or sentiment [in the right place?]” (Iwasa 45) And when it comes to Mrs. Wright and the ladies in “Trifles” there is no doubt in my mind that they were in the right.
The play, “Trifles”, by Susan Glaspell seems to perfectly illustrate the common ‘male over female’ dominance that infuriates women all around the world. However, after reading this story, men will no longer have this so called upper hand, as wit and keen ingenuity will be used to retain the men from their power in this particular story. The one main thing that the women of “Trifles” are criticized for is the idea that they perceive only the little trifles rather than seeing the whole picture, yet this exact thing is what leads them to successfully deceive the officers and convince them of Mrs. Wright’s innocence. Though the focus is on the story of Mrs. Wright and her revenge of abolition, another story of revenge is told, being the portrayal of the women of “Trifles” as unsophisticated and unintelligent.
Married women have forever been known as the life-givers of this planet. They are expected to give birth, nurture and raise their young. Not only do they have to cope with all those responsibilities, but they also have to take care and do the dirty work of the husband, whilst playing the role of the happy housewife whom will always be the inferior one in the marriage. This case is almost identically shown through the struggles Mrs. Wright has with John, her husband. Though John has a respectable reputation amongst the people of the town, it is clear that behind the closed doors of his house, things (and he, himself) are different. The fact that there is abuse in this relationship is quite evident through a numerous of things. The first being the door that was discovered broken, leading the reader to believe that he was a very physical and distressed man. Secondly, the story openly suggests that it was Mr. Wright who broke the neck of his wife’s canary. The canary, which had to be caged, was a representation of the old Mrs. Wright herself. The canary is a “real sweet and pretty” (Mrs. Hale 165) free and high-spirited bird that has a melodic voice, just as Mrs. Wright had, once upon a time. The death of her faithful and true companion was the last straw. The real Mrs. Wright, or should we say ‘Minnie Foster’, was about to return and finally rise against all the abusive husbands and stand up for the suppressed wives all around by making her first concluding choice she has ever been ‘allowed’ to make.
The canary’s cage is a symbol of Minnie’s jail in her own home, and the death of her bird is her freedom, her savior, because the fate of her bird would then be the fate of her husband. Mr. Wright was found with a rope, tied tightly around his neck, which marked the release of all the women who will no longer be dragged down by men, physically or emotionally. This was the first act of power from women in the story.
The other women in “Trifles” also play a very important role to the story of revenge. The detectives spend most of their time looking for clues around the house that could potentially prove Mrs. Wright as guilty. They constantly mock the other women that are in the house and putting them in their place by teasing them that all women do is worry about the small, useless and