One main similarity between the two plays A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen, and Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, is that the women are treated like they are incompetent.
In many cases, the men in both plays treat the women like prizes or pets. In A Doll's House, Torvald calls Nora his singing bird, or he calls her his little squirrel. He rewards her as one would a house pet. In many ways, she is not respected as a human being. In Trifles, Mr. Wright does not even acknowledge his wife's existence, except, most likely, for cooking, cleaning, and marital relations. The husbands are cold, boring people, who act very sexist towards their wives.
In this time period, men act as though the women should not know what is going on. One example is in Trifles, where the sheriff's wife and Mrs. Hale find out the real reason for the murder, but they hide it. They use this as a way to prove to the men that they can figure things out and do not need their help to do it. The men in charge of the investigation often make fun of them about worrying about the small things, the trifles, but the whole time, they are just covering up what they have figured out without the men. In A Doll's House, Torvald shows many different ways of how he does not expect his wife to do simple everyday things. They have maids who do the household chores and take care of the children. Also, he has a lock on the mailbox in order that he is the only person to check the mail. The women are treated as though they are helpless, which runs hand in hand with being treated as pets. In both cases, they act as though they appreciate being treated like that and are glad that the men are there to protect and help them, yet on the inside, they are unhappy and feel as though they should be able to take care of themselves. .
The women's unhappiness drives both of them to extreme measures. .