The Canary

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The Canary
In Susan Glaspell’s play “Trifles” there is a lot of symbolism of the pet canary to Minnie Foster. The life of the canary symbolizes Mrs. Wright previous life as Minnie Foster. The town’s people knew Minnie Foster as a lively, free woman, and according to Mrs. Hale, “Minnie was kind of like a bird herself- real sweet and pretty.” (Glasphell, 923) Minnie Foster use to sing and be happy, like a canary. Once Minnie married John Wright her canary like spirit died. Mrs. Wright was the complete opposite of Minnie Foster. Mrs. Wright did not sing, she was not happy, and she was isolated. Mrs. Wright pet canary symbolized her only connection to her past life as Minnie Foster and the happiness her once embodied. The canary also represented Mrs. Wright sanity. Mrs. Wright did not have any children and her husband was a cold man. She was lonely and her only companion was her pet canary. As long as she had the canary, Mrs. Wright would have some kind of happiness and her sanity. Mr. Wright did not like the bird and wrung Mrs. Wright beloved canary’s neck. “Wright wouldn’t like the bird- a thing that sang she used to sing. He killed that, too.” (Glashell, 924) The death of the canary represents Mrs. Wright metal breakdown. Her husband did not simply kill a bird. He killed her only companion, her happiness, and sanity in killing the canary. The murder of the canary symbolizes Mrs. Wright breaking point with her husband. Mrs. Wright’s husband killed everything good in her life by killing the canary. In return, Mrs. Wright killed her husband. The murder of the canary also symbolizes Mrs. Wright justification for killing her husband. He killed her happiness, so she killed him.
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