Trifles Susan Glaspell

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  • Topic: Marriage, Cage, Birdcage
  • Pages : 2 (604 words )
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  • Published : December 5, 2006
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Bird Cage of a Marriage
In Susan Glaspell's play "Trifles" there is a lot of symbolism of the bird in reference to Minnie Foster. The bird symbolizes many things, the representation of the life that she once had, Minnie's non-existent children, and her transformation from being John's pet to being free. Living in a quiet farm house with no children, Minnie acquires a bird and treats it as her own child. When her husband supposedly wrings the bird's neck, Minnie returns the action to her husband, John Wright.

Minnie was like a bird, "come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and-fluttery." (1006) The other women talked of her role she used to play in the community, "I heard she used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir." (1004) In this selection the "pretty clothes" (1004) represent the feathers of a bird. Minnie used to have pretty feathers, but now she "don't enjoy things when you [Minnie] feel shabby." (1004) Minnie also sang in the choir, just as birds sing in flocks. Since her marriage to John, Minnie had become withdrawn from her previous activities and possibly oppressed by her husband.

Minnie was a house wife alone all day while John was away at work. Minnie and John never had any children, "Not having children…makes a quiet house" (1006) It was said that "Just to pass the time of day with him [John]- [was] Like a raw wind that gets to the bone." (1006) Minnie must have been miserable living with John so she took up the bird. She possibly treated the bird as her child, singing to it and caring for it. She must have mourned the death of the bird the same as the death of a child. She used those emotions to fuel the transformation from an oppressive cold lifestyle to one of freedom from her husband.

In the play, the birdcage symbolizes the secluded life of Minnie and the force used to change her life. When the bird cage...
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