At this moment, many women are suffering from domestic violence against them. Even though many countries worldwide have a law that was designed to protect women from suffering, it does not seem to have an ending. Both Trifles and Provoked tell stories of women being threatened by their husbands. It appears that the outcomes were much alike for both women in the mentioned plays, but this essay will discuss the significant differences between them.
Glaspell’s Mrs. Wright is found relatively tranquil than emotionless on the crime scene. The local sheriff and the county attorney start investigating the case searching the house for clues. Men mention the main symbol of the play — trifles — when one says that the woman is worried about the broken jar of preserved fruits, and the attorney replies that women are used to being neurotic about trifles (Glaspell 10). In the play, both men represent the patriarchal point of view on women.
Eventually, Minnie Wright (former Foster) gets sent to jail until further investigation of the case. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, wives of men involved in the case, are picking up some things from Mrs. Wright’s house upon her request. Women find the dead bird in a cage and notice that its head is twisted the same way Mr. Wright is (Glaspell 23). They decide to hide it before their husbands see it.
Provoked tells a story of a Punjabi woman who had an arranged marriage. Eventually, her husband, who previously seemed caring and loving, shows his genuine nature. Kiranjit spends ten years of constant abuse and rape with him. Unable to cope with domestic violence, Kiranjit sets her husband on fire in his sleep, unintentionally killing him. The woman is sentenced to life imprisonment. Her cellmate helps her with the case to redeem the possibility of parole (Provoked 54:40-82:00). Kiranjit is freed mainly because the organization Southall Black Sisters throws the light on her case to the public and demands the system to free the initial victim.
What bonds Kiranjit and Minnie are that they both have killed their husbands because of the domestic abuse that they could not bear any longer. The play and the film well show that women cannot rely on men in case of domestic violence, as demonstrated in Trifles when men were still accusing Minnie of being a bad wife and showing no support. The stories differ in the outcomes: Kiranjit is freed from prison, while Minnie is still in jail. Mrs. Wright is most likely not to be sentenced at all with the help of other women that felt her pain and did not want to tell their husbands what happened. Kiranjit did not have a chance to stand aside from the law, but she got her happy ending, yet again with the help of other women.
The main contrast between the stories is that Kiranjit did not plan to kill her husband, while in the Trifles, there are many clues throughout the story that Minnie had a murder plan for a long time. The stories differ in the journey of women, but in the end, they get their happy endings. To conclude, this contrast’s idea is that for the judicial system, it does not matter if the woman was a victim, planned murder, or self-defenced — the system will stand by the man.
Provoked: A True Story. Directed by Jag Mundhra, Raj Film Productions, 2006.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles: A Play in One Act. Boston: Walter H. Baker, 1924.