Throughout history

Throughout history, in a male-dominated society, a woman’s role is to be submissive, unintelligent, and a caregiver to her husband and children. In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, we get to see the way women were treated throughout the nineteenth century, being dismissed by men as frivolous and treated like property. We see two women in similar situation take matters into their own hands and quietly prove their husband’s expectations of them wrong.
Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, paints a bleak picture of the sacrificial role women held in all economic classes of society. Their role often being self-sacrificial. A Doll’s House begins with Nora fulfilling a role that society prescribed for women, the role of a submissive spouse and mother. A role limited to duties such as making a beautiful home, tending to the needs of her husband and children. Nora Helmer, however, challenged this idea.
During this time in history, women could not sign a legal contract by themselves. They needed the permission from their husband, father, or brother. Because of this, Nora secretly took out a loan by forging her father’s signature so her and Torvald they could travel. Nora also worked odds jobs to save and make payments on the loan, believing out of ignorance, that she could get away with forging her father’s signature.

As A Doll’s House opens, Torvald is about to move up to a manager position of the bank which Nora took out a loan. She has almost repaid the loan

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In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, we are introduced to Mrs. Wright, a woman accused of killing her husband. Trifles opens with three men entering her and her husband’s home, to investigate his murder, completely overlooking the disarray the house is in. Their wives behind them to collect things Mrs. Wright may need while she sits in jail. Mrs. Wright spending most of her time alone feeling smothered her in their home by not being able to live a happy life decides to take matters into her own hands when her husband, Mr. Wright, kills their bird. Feeling like she lives in a cage, just like their bird, and feeling smothered in the same way her husband smothered the bird, she decided to do the same to her husband.
Gender role in Trifles are once again put to the test when Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters decide to withholding evidence from their husbands that could implicate Mrs. Wright. These women, likely going through the same thing as Mrs. Wright, decide to lookout for their fellow woman. The men seem to have a cynical view of the women and their significance to society. They seem of push the women off to the side as if they aren’t capable of doing anything else other than gathering Mrs. Wrights belongings and staying in the kitchen. It’s a typical stereotype that women are supposed to be in the kitchen and do what the men tell them to do.
Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, two women come from different backgrounds and lead very different lives yet, they share similar situations. They are both looked at as only being good for caring for their men and their homes, they both are seeking freedom and independence, and they both ultimately end up alone.