chapter  3
Gendered Spaces: Law and Justice in Susan Glaspell’s Trifl es
Pages 56

Susan Glaspell’s Trifl es was fi rst produced in 1916 by the Provincetown Players.1 It is a powerful one-act play about two women who judge, jury, and sentence Minnie Wright – unseen in the play – who is accused of murdering her dominating and oppressive husband by strangulation. The trial does not occur in a court of law, but in Minnie Wright’s kitchen, a prescribed feminine space that lies outside what the two women perceive as an unjust male legal system. By the end of the play, the two women acknowledge Minnie Wright’s guilt, but effectively pardon her. They do so by contaminating and concealing potentially damning evidence after emphasizing and identifying with, as well as feeling partly responsible for, the years of hardship she suffered at the hands of her husband. Their actions are further motivated by the understanding that Minnie Wright will be unable to receive a fair trial in an all-male courtroom, and will, instead, receive a discriminatory system of justice.