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  • Amberley Canegitta & Amy Do

Susan Glaspell: Feminist Pioneer

Susan Glaspell: Feminist Pioneer

Since the turn of the 21st century, the feminist movement has ignited a spark of gender revolution into the stream of society’s conscience. Everywhere you turn, traces of feminism can be found on billboards, music videos, and books alike—many of them having been written by empowered women whom have dared to deface the stagnant state of patriarchy. Yet, this sudden emergence of female directed creations does not come without precedent. Even as early as the start of the 1900’s, women, and more specifically, women artists, have been laying down the foundation for the disposition of literary gender norms.

Enter Susan Glaspell, a female Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, actress, novelist, and journalist during the early 1900’s. Clearly she has made a name for herself in breaking down the walls of gender stereotypes. She is most famous for her one-act play, Trifles, a murder mystery that is known best for its variety of female characters, weak and strong.

On the other hand, Trifles is not the only thing Susan Glaspell had done in support of the feminist movement. Along with the husband, Susan Glaspell opened the Provincetown Players Theater in Province Town Cape Cod and then at 133 MacDougal Street in Manhattan. This little theater had staged performances from both rising black artists and females alike. It gave roles to underappreciated actors who were struggling to break out on the New York City acting scene, and more than that, it gave rise to new stars and role models in the community.

Mrs. Hale, a famous character written by Glaspell, recounts a truth that while spoken in the 1900’s, still rings true today: "We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things - it's all just a different kind of same thing." People all over the world are struggling together, we may not be in the same situation, the same race, the same gender, or with the same abilities, but we are struggling together nonetheless. It has been a long road and the battle for equality for women has been long and hard, but we can't stop now.

---All information retrieved from the Susan Glaspell Society

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