Review of “Trifles”
Susan Glaspell play, “Trifles”, revolves around Mrs. Wright, a woman who seeks revenge on her husband for oppressing her through their years of marriage. During the time of Glaspell’s play, early 1900’s, men are the dominant figures in society and women are expected to cook, clean, raise children and care for their husbands. Glaspell’s play, “Trifles”, main goal is portraying a theme of women being oppressed through marriage by the use of symbolism through a canary and a bird cage. The bird cage represents Mrs. Wright’s well-being, while the bird that once lived inside represents Mrs. Wright spirit. For instance, Glaspell chooses the bird cage as symbolic for being confined. It represents how Mr. Wright is oppressing his wife. Before Mrs. Wright was married to John Wright, she was Minnie Foster: “she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively” (Glaspell 241-243). Now as a married woman, she has no friends and no social life. Mrs. Hale, a close friend of Mrs. Wright, states that after the Wright’s marriage: “I stayed away because it wasn’t cheerful…it’s a lonesome place and always was” (Glaspell 374-379). These quotes support that Minnie Foster and Minnie Wright are very different. The single Minnie used to be lively. Now as a married woman, she is isolated and caged in by her husband in their home. Glaspell use of the cage has significance in the play and supports the underlying main goal that women are oppressed through marriage.
Not only did the bird cage symbolize oppression, the dead bird found in the box further supports the theme of women being oppressed through marriage. Mrs. Hale connects Mrs. Wright to the bird when she states: “She [Mrs. Wright] was kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and –fluttery” (Glaspell 398-400). Mrs. Hale statement suggests the bird in the play symbolizes Mrs. Wright spirit. Mrs. Hale goes on to state: “She used to sing. He killed that, too” (Glaspell 467). Mrs. Hale is...
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