Kurt Vonnegut once said, "Enjoy the little things in life because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things." It is often that things deemed inessential and trivial become overlooked, getting tossed aside. "Trifles," a one-act play by Susan Glaspell, is a simple story of little things. Trifles are defined as "things of little value or importance." The irony here is deep. In a work told of women who were capable of no more than simple trifles, it was those same trifles that helped them solve the murder mystery of John Wright. However, it had been the men's job to find the hard evidence of murder, while the women remained unseen and out of the way. The setting, irony, character motives and Glaspell's message to the female readers gave insight on what came really came of Mr. Wright.
Trifles was written in a time where societies were male dominated. During Glaspell's time, women were not allowed to vote, let alone write. She based the short story off of her experiences as a woman during her years. During the pre-war era, women were to be domestic. Another way to describe them is stepford. Women were to embody the ideals of being the perfect wife. They were to take care of things such as household chores, taking care of the children, and providing food. Men also had a role. They were the bread winners so to say. They were responsible for portraying strength and protecting the women in their "fragile" states. Glaspell was not the only one to use writing to show the gender inequality. The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin was one of these writings. In this story, the protagonist Mrs. Mallard got the news of her husband's death. Instead of being distraught like one would expect, Mrs. Mallard was overjoyed. She was so over joyed that she died "of the joy that kills" (Ronson 216). Women often lived isolated lives, having not much outside of household duties.