Susan Glaspell was a strong advocate of women's rights and wrote adamantly against the oppression of women under the strict control of men. Her story Trifles is a great example of how she felt about women being forced to live under the firm control of their husbands. In the story, the men treat the women as if they are unintelligent and petty. The men appear professional as they go about searching the house for evidence and laugh at the women's attachment to the "petty" things such as Mrs. Wright's jellies, her apron, and her dirty kitchen. The men think that the things the women deem important are merely trifles. At the beginning of the story, Hale comments that he wished to speak to John Wright in front of his wife although he "didn't know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John." After making a remark about the quilting, the women become a sort of laughing stock for the men who deem such things as having no importance at all.
Every time after that, when the men return from searching for evidence, one of them laughs about the women's remarks about the quilting. However, little do they know how intelligent the women truly are. The little things they considered to be "trifles" turn out to be the leading evidence for proving that Mrs. Wright had killed her husband. The women find the birdcage with the broken door and then find the bird in a box underneath the quilting materials. Knowing personally how women feel, they manage to learn why Mrs. Wright could have killed her husband--he had killed the bird, something that obviously meant a lot to Mrs. Wright. At the end of the story, the women keep the evidence away from the men and protect Mrs. Wright,