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 are in fact crucially important. Ironically, it is these “trifles” that lead the women to uncover true evidence concerning the crime, while the men are unsuccessful in finding a motive during their search of the Wrights’ house.
The importance of the trifles demonstrates the way that the men, in their power and self-importance, completely overlook the importance of women and their domestic activities. It shows how that self-importance causes the men to overlook the very thing they are searching for, and how that arrogant blindness to the lives of women weakens the men in ways they can’t even recognize.
The Blindness of Men ThemeTracker
The Blindness of Men Quotes in Trifles
“Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.”
“No, Mrs. Peters doesn’t need supervising. For that matter, a sheriff’s wife is married to the law.”
“Well, Henry, at least we found out that she was not going to quilt it. She was going to—what is it you call it, ladies?”
“We call it—knot it, Mr. Henderson.”