Trifles: Symbolism and Canary Bird

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Writing Assignment 4
3/24/13

There are several themes in the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell; the most important theme however is loneliness. Mini Wright was very lonely because her husband isolated her; her canary bird symbolized Mini herself, and lastly, the jar of cherries symbolized her new freedom away from isolation. The use of symbolism in this story was Mini Wrights “cry for help”. A reader of this play has to analyze all of the symbols in order to feel the real pain Mini Wright was living with from day to day, with her loneliness and isolation. Mini Wright lived in a farmhouse with her husband far away from town and all civilization. Minis own home represents her isolation from the rest of the world. It’s what she sees and lives with every day. It represents her loneliness, repetitive housework, married life, and all the things she resents in her life. Minis own husband, Mr. Wright, also symbolizes her loneliness and isolation. Mr. Wright is not a fun man to be around and he also frequently goes into town leaving Mini at the house to deal with her housework. When Mini suggested getting a party telephone so she can at least be in contact with the outside world, her husband quickly shoots her down. “I’m going to see if I can’t get John Wright to go in with me on a party telephone… he put me off, saying folks talked too much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet— I guess you know about how much he talked himself”. This seemingly unimportant sentence symbolizes Minis isolation; it also shows that Mr. Wright did not think that it is important for his wife to be in contact with the outside world. Mini’s canary bird symbolized her loneliness and isolation. The birdcage is symbolic for Mini and her life. She was caged just like the bird. Mr. Wright caged her from the outside world and since they had no children all she had was he. The bird itself also was symbolic in the way that it sang. It reflected Minis’s old life from when she was young...
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