Lecturer: A. Pennell
Text- Analysis- Group 3
Nov 11, 2010
Trifles: Minnie Wright. A Bird in a Cage
Minnie Wright represents the focal point in the short story, and the image that best reveals her character is that of a bird in a cage. By comparing Minnie to a bird locked in a cage, the author manages to convey to the reader her feelings of hopelessness, dispair, and a longing to be free again.
Before she married John Wright, she was Minnie Foster, a cheerful, beautiful and carefree young lady who enjoied singing, as Mrs Hales describes her: “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively , when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girl singing in the choir. But that- oh, that was thirty years ago” (1207) . However, her marriage with John Wright becomes a cage, her prison.
Being “(…) a hard man”, as pointed out by Mrs. Hale, his coldness, harshness resulted in breaking her spirit, crushing her cheerfulness and turning her into a shadow of her former self, into a quite and unobtrusive woman, a contrast to what she once used to be (1209) .
Apart from symbolizing Minnie herself, the bird also represents the only connection to her past, a reminder of her youth, revealed again, by Mrs. Hale’s short description: “ ( …) She was kind of like a bird herself- really sweet and pretty but kind of timid and fluttery. How- she- did- change” (1210) . The bird and it’s song are her last link to those happy days, the only thing that kept her spirit alive, the armor that saved her from being completely engulfed by the gloominess and emptiness of her marriage.
By killing the cannary, John took away her last hope, thus transforming her into a woman capable of doing anything in order to break free, taking away her last shreds of humanity and metaphorically ending her life....