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Themes and Colors
Social Oppression of Women Theme Icon
The Blindness of Men Theme Icon
Gender Allegiance vs. Legal Duty Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Trifles, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

The play presents a world of strict gender roles, in which the men occupy the sphere of work while the women exist solely in the home. Yet the separation of men’s and women’s spheres is not merely one of a division of labor. Rather, Trifles portrays a world, dominated by men, in which social expectations and restrictions have essentially confined women to the home and bound them to their husbands, with little control or identity…

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As described in the theme on the Social Oppression of Women, Trifles’ use of gender roles establishes the men in the sphere of work and influence and the women in the sphere of the home and trifling concerns. Yet, at the same time, the title of the play highlights the trifling concerns that the men mock, and in doing so emphasizes that the “trifles” that the men overlook because they are feminine concerns…

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Trifles might be described as a kind of murder mystery. Yet a murder mystery usually ends with the criminal being brought to justice, and instead in this murder mystery it is the idea of justice itself that is complicated. In discovering the dead bird, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find evidence that serves as a motive for Minnie’s killing of her husband but also, from their viewpoint, somewhat justifies Minnie Wright’s act of…

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