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The Different Depiction Of Women And Men In American Literature

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Literature is always a reflection of its place of origin. It reflects the different values and traditions of the part of the world it comes from. In the same respect, American Literature has focused on our own, American values, such as freedom, honor and the different rights of men and women. In "Trifles" and "The Inheritors" both written by Susan Glaspell, we observe different qualities found in women and men and how are depicted in different light.

The strong feeling of women being the caretakers at home is the first that we see. In both pieces of literature, we see the women always in the kitchen and men criticize them on how they take care of things. In "Trifles", we see a group of men and women investigating a crime scene, each with their own way. The two women, who are there to pick up some belongings for the woman held for a murder charge look at the place and really pay attention on how the woman was taking care of the household. They noticed how she was making jam and how she had started to knit a beautiful quilt, which at the end had some mistakes done and it seemed that she was rushing through it. One of the women started fixing it, by instinct. This shows us that women of that time had a certain consciousness and took their responsibilities at home very seriously. We see the emphasis even more when the men were discussing how dirty and unkempt the house seemed, but their wives were trying to defend her.

In the same way, Grandmother in "The Inheritors" is always baking cookies and for guests and she reminisces about when she was younger, when they lived in harmonious times with the Native Americans and how they used to love her cookies. In the play, she is sitting in a rocking chair in the kitchen, and when her son and Felix Fejevary talk about her, we get the idea that she has always been taking care of people from all walks of life and at some point joke about how the house seemed like an Inn. It provides us with a view of what women were supposed to be doing with their lives.

I find that in "Trifles", there is a certain amount of irony, it is the fact that even though we would expect the men to figure out the crime. The women, by paying attention to the details of the household not only figure out what had happened but also the motive of the crime. I think this was a revolutionary idea that this Susan Glaspell's play was trying to bring up. She was trying to show that even though we expect women to act a certain way, they could achieve a lot more than what could be expected of them.

The sense of freedom has been instilled in our peoples from the time of the founding founders. Of course, it would be inaccurate to say that both sexes have the same freedoms but in the play "Trifles", we see how the men had already judged the woman and especially they saw it as a crime against



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