“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell and Solidarity Between Women Essay (Critical Writing)
In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles one of basic themes is solidarity between women. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters show compassion towards Mrs. Wright, who is accused of killing her own husband. This points to an unconditional and sincere support of representatives of their gender.
While men treat Mrs. Wright as a cruel killer, women found a way to justified her from a solely woman’s position: “I might have known she needed help! I know how things can be — for women” (Glaspell 323). Moreover, the women decide to hide the evidence (a dead bird). When the men asked about the bird, women replied: “We think the — cat got it” (Glaspell 320), even though they knew that there could be no cat: “… she didn’t have a cat. She’s got that feeling some people have about cats — being afraid of them” (Glaspell 318).
Among the characters, I found Mrs. Hale very interesting. Mrs. Hale shows a rare ability to sense the emotions of other people; in addition, she is very compassionate and sentimental. Mrs. Hale even feels guilty of not helping Mrs. Wright when she needed her: “I wish I had come over to see Minnie Foster sometimes” (Glaspell 319).
One of the central issues opened in Ibsen’s A Doll House is confrontation of selfishness and altruism. Torvald, a personification of selfishness and narcissism, cares only about his reputation.
Thus, he fires Krogstad because he dares to “adopt a familiar tone with me” (Ibsen 190). In addition, he views himself as a savior and master of his wife, who is totally helpless without him. At the same time, Nora is fighting her own dissatisfaction with her life, and is even ready to sacrifice it in the name of her husband’s reputation, which is a paramount example of altruism.
Undoubtedly, Nora is the most important character of the play, as the whole story is connected to her inner world, her emotions and discoveries. The culmination of the play, when Krogstad’s letter to Torvald is revealed, is also a culmination moment of Nora’s life, as she realizes the true nature of a person she spent her life with: “It was tonight, when the wonderful thing did not happen; then I saw you were not the man I had thought you were” (Ibsen 249).
The Importance of Being Earnest is one of the most popular works ever written by Oscar Wilde. One of the themes discussed in this incomparably ironic play is the issue of hypocrisy.
Two young men, Jack and Algernon, have true feelings for women and sincere intentions to win their hearts, but these benevolent principles compel them to behave not honest enough to even reveal their true names. Jack’s attempt to catch Algernon lying points to his pretentious honesty and morality: “My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn’t a dentist.
It produces a false impression” (Wilde 261). In fact, at the end of the play it occurs that revealing one’s nature and being himself is the only condition needed for reaching the target. As for the character that I found very interesting, it is Gwendolen, Jack’s fiancé. Her elitism, arrogant tone and whims prevented Jack from showing his real face. She always points to the class differences: “I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade.
It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different” (Wilde 295); “Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nowadays” (Wilde 310). Even in the end, when Jack’s true identity is revealed, the only condition of Gwendolen’s love to him is him being named Earnest (another whim). All in all, I think Gwendolen is a special and well-designed character.
A Raisin in the Sun is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry, which discusses a number of themes. From my point of view, one of the most important issues covered by the play is the conflict of expectations.
Thus, Walter expects to become a successful businessman and provider of his family: “I want so many things that they are driving me kind of crazy” (Hansberry 479), but his dreams are juxtaposed to Mama’s wish to live a stable and honest life. Beneatha wants to become a doctor, but this expectation is confronted by the racial prejudices and financial hardship, which makes her sarcastic and disappointed: “…forgive me for ever wanting to be anything at all!” (Hansberry 482).
As for the most important character in the play, I believe it is Mama. She is a personification of wisdom, rationality, and care. She tries to find a balance between her obligations in the family, her own dreams, and the dreams of other family members. She also seems to be the only character in the play who realizes that money does not hold the key to all human needs: “Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life – now it’s money” (Hansberry 471).
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. In:The Seagull Reader: Plays. 2nd ed. Ed. Joseph Kelly. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. Print
Hansberry, Lorraine. Raisin in the Sun. In:The Seagull Reader: Plays. 2nd ed. Ed. Joseph Kelly. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. Print
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll House. In:The Seagull Reader: Plays. 2nd ed. Ed. Joseph Kelly. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. Print
Wilde, Oscar. Importance of Being Earnest. In:The Seagull Reader: Plays. 2nd ed. Ed. Joseph Kelly. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. Print
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