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A Jury of Her Peers (Literary Analysis of Symbols)

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A Jury of Her Peers (Literary Analysis of Symbols)

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  • April 2013
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Literary Analysis of Symbols in
“A Jury of Her Peers”

I picked three symbols from the story A Jury of Her Peers. One of the symbols has to do with the investigation. The other two have to do with Minnie Wright.

A symbol in A Jury of Her Peers is “trifles”. Within the story, the men investigated the house to find evidence from the crime. They don’t pay attention to any of the small things (trifles), but the women do. The women end up figuring out more than the men. The men say, “Oh, I guess they’re not very dangerous things the ladies picked out.” This is ironic since the women have actually figured out the crime more than the men, while the men have no idea. I think this shows the ignorance of the men.

The bird and the birdcage is another symbol.
The bird was like Minnie Foster. The bird is trapped in the birdcage just like how Minnie is trapped in her bad marriage. The sheriff’s wife said, “She--come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself.” This is quite ironic because she symbolizes the bird and the bird is later found dead, just like her soul. Minnie Foster is just like the trapped bird in the cage because she was trapped in a bad marriage.

The rocking chair in the beginning of the story is a symbol. It represents the absent Minnie Wright. The chair was worn out and old. Her husband caused most of the destruction. Mrs. Hale thought, “...that rocker didn't look in the least like Minnie Foster--the Minnie Foster of twenty years before.” Is telling how the rocking chair used to be in good condition, just like Mrs. Wright. What ruined her was not her aging, but her bad marriage.

All symbols are pretty ironic in my opinion. The ones in the story have the most irony out of the ones I’ve read. Each one has to do with ironic themes such as death and crime.