The Three Symbols in Trifles by Susan Glaspell


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The setting of a story is the physical and social context in which the action of a story occurs.(Meyer 1635) The setting can also set the mood of the story, which will help readers to get a better idea pf what is happening. The major elements of the setting are the time, place, and social environment that frame the characters. (Meyer 1635) "Trifles by Susan Glaspell portrays a gloomy, dark, and lonely setting. Glaspell uses symbolic objects to help the audience get a better understanding for the characters. The three symbolizes used are a birdcage, a bird, and rope.

The birdcage represents how Mrs. Wright was trapped in her marriage, and could not escape it. The birdcage door is broken which represents her broken marriage to Mr. Wright. It also represents Mrs. Wright escaping her marriage from Mr. Wright. When the door is open it allows Mrs. Wright to became a free woman. At one point in time the cage door use to have a lock that locked the bird inside the cage. This represents how Mr. Wright kept Mrs. Wright locked up from society. Mr. Wright knew that by keeping Mrs. Wright locked up, she would never be able to tell anyone how he really acted. Mr. Wright was very cruel to his wife.

Another symbolic object used in "Trifles," was a bird. The bird represents Mrs. Wright, lovely yet shy. Mrs. Hale even explained to Mrs. Peters that Mrs. Wright was kind of like a bird herself real sweet, and pretty, but kind of timid and fluttery.(Meyer 1006) When Mrs. Wright was Minnie Foster she sang in one of the town girls singing choir(Meyer 1004) which represent the bird, since the bird use to sing beautifully like Minnie.

The rope symbolizes death and destruction. When Mr. Wright was killed, he was chocked to death with a rope. The same way Mrs. Wright was killed, so was Mrs. Wright's bird. The death of Mr. Wright was Mrs. Wright's way of starting a new life. The bird's death symbolizes Mrs. Wright's dying because she is with Mr.

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Wright but by both the bird and Mr. Wright dying allows Mrs. Wright to be free.

The three symbols in "Trifles" allows the audience to understand how dark and miserable the setting was. Since Glaspell's story takes place in 1916 when women had few rights, and divorce wasn't an option, Mrs. Wright had to kill her husband to get out of a horrible marriage. The only Mrs. Wright was going to ever be happy was to take matters into her own hands.



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