The Symbol of the Bird in “Trifles”
Throughout the play “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters visit the Wright home after the murder of Mr. Wright to help look for evidence. They come across an empty bird cage and notice that Mrs. Wright once owned a song bird. The women then observe the cage and realize the door has been broken partially off of the hinge. Mrs. Hale assumes that someone was “rough with it” and suggests this to be the motive of the crime that took place. When the two women discover the dead canary wrapped up in a piece of fine silk in Mrs. Wrights sewing box, they piece these clues together and discover the reason why Mrs. Wright committed this cruel act.
The significance of the canary in “Trifles” suggests that Mr. Wright wanted to “kill” anything that gave Mrs. Wright pleasure. “She- come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and-fluttery.(1901) This quote by Mrs. Hale also suggests how important the canary once was to Mrs. Wright due to the pleasant singing it did, which reminded her of how she once sang. “No, Wright wouldn’t like the bird- a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too” (1896). This quote by Mrs. Hale suggests Mr. Wright took something important away from his wife that she could relate to. He took away all of the special things from Mrs. Wright which was inevitably the motive for the murder she committed. He not only suppressed and dominated his wife but also had a reputation of caring very little as to what his wife thought or wanted.
The Symbol of the Bird in “Trifles” English 111
existence in its cage symbolizes her life since marriage and also its significance to her as she was trying to bury it in the pretty sewing box which is also an example of abnormal behavior along with killing her husband. “He put me off, saying folks talked too much anyway…” (1897)This is an example of how Minnie’s...
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