Maisarah. "A Study of Symbols in Susan Glaspell's Trifles."2014.

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The Symbolic Objects in "Trifles" by Susan Keating Glaspell

The paper talks about the symbolic objects used in the play "Trifles" by Susan Keating Glaspell. The names of the characters in the play are symbolic. Minnie Wright is the main character of the play. The name "Wright" rhymes with "right," which indicates that the main aim of the play is to discover the right decision to make in terms of crises and the right thing to do in general. The first name "Minnie" is pronounced as "mini"; this indicates the role of women in a patriarchal society. Women are not respected and often feel small as their opinions are not valued by men. Minnie's maiden name Foster, which she drops after getting married, is a symbol of force. However, her first name, Minnie, diminishes the strength of her middle name and portrays her as a weak person.

The quilt in the play is comprised of fabric and is incomplete. The fate of Minnie is symbolized by the quilt as it is unknown. The pieces of fabric are a symbol of every piece of evidence discovered about the murder of Minnie's husband. When Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale find it for the first time, they asked Minnie whether she was going to knot or quilt it. The setting of the play is also symbolic. The play takes place during winter, a cold season during which many plants and some animals die as a result of the cold. The jar in the drama also cracks due to the cold. The jar represents Minnie while the cold symbolizes her husband's domestic violence. The kitchen is in disarray as a symbol of the confusion in Minnie's mind. In the twentieth century, the woman had to keep the household clean at all times. Therefore, the poor state of the kitchen showed that something was wrong.

Analysis of Symbols and Author's Choice

There is a logical flow of thought and correct grammar throughout the text. However, the author refers to the character as a nineteenth-century woman while the play was written in the twentieth century, i.e. 1916. The author informs the reader of the simple objects that are easily ignored but have symbolic meanings. Factors such as the season, the jar and the state of the kitchen are factors that most people would not pay attention to. For instance, a dirty kitchen can easily be interpreted as laziness.

Mhayyal, Basaad Maher. "Psychological Domestic Violence against Woman as Reflected in Susan Glaspell's Trifles‎." CBA (2015): 709-728.

The Symbols of the Bird and the Birdcage

The paper analyses the symbols of the bird and the birdcage to speak about domestic violence and the plight of women in society. Before marriage, Minnie was a jovial woman who often sang in the choir. However, she became unhappy when she became Mrs. Wright. The birdcage is a symbol of Minnie's unhappy marriage in which she felt trapped. Minnie is not free to do whatever she wants but has to live by her husband's rules. John Wright makes Minnie feel that she is imprisoned and in solitary confinement since she has limited touch with the outside world. She spends a lot of time at home carrying out domestic chores. Despite the total control over his wife, John Wright goes also break's the bird's cage; his action depicts his violent nature. John even kills his wife's pet canary, which has no fault. The canary was the only source of joy for Minnie in the house, but John decides to kill it. The killing of an innocent bird shows John's cruelty and violent behavior. Additionally, the place of women in society is clearly revealed in the play. They are depicted as people who concentrate on trifles (trivialities). Furthermore, the word "trifles" are the play's title while the main character is Minnie Wright. The title shows that women in the society are not important people. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters concentrate on the state of the house, but nobody listens to their ideas since their opinions are not valued.

The Psychological Damage and Women's Treatment in Society

The fact that Minnie killed her husband after he killed her canary is an unfair punishment to many readers. However, the writer clarifies that she is not simply avenging the death of an animal by taking human life. Minnie suffered from immense psychological damage as a result of social isolation. John insisted that he did not want to share a telephone line because he preferred privacy; this shows the level of isolation from society. Individuals who are separated from the community suffer from a neurological imbalance. The loneliness drove Minnie to depression, especially when John deprived her of the only source of comfort and happiness (the canary). She felt that she could only be free from her oppressor by ending his life.

The author shows how women are treated in society: they are abused by their husbands but cannot report the matter. Minnie felt that the only way to escape from her violent husband was to strangle him. According to her, that was the only way of getting justice. Women's opinions were rendered useless since the attorney and sheriff refused to listen to Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale. The paper gives a good flow of ideas as well as the general arrangement.

Tahameed, Ei Sadig Hamdi Bushra. "Married Life as Portrayed in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" and Susan Glaspell's "Trifles" Play." Sudan University of Science and Technology.

Dramatic Irony and Male Ignorance

There is dramatic irony in the play since the audience knows what is going on but some characters have no idea of the current situation. The audience realizes that men are still looking for clues while the women already know John's killer. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale studied the home and found clues, which point to Minnie as the killer. However, men (sheriff and attorney) dismiss the kitchen environment as women's work and do not think that there might be a clue in it. The men ignored the most important room in the house due to the fact that Mrs. Wright spent most of her time in the kitchen. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters continue to study the kitchen and discover an unfinished quilt, a broken birdcage and a dead canary whose broken neck is covered with silk in a sewing box. Another irony is that the County Attorney assumes that the women presented them with accurate evidence since Mrs. Peters is the sheriff's wife who was expected to follow the law. However, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hales got rid of any evidence that could implicate Mrs. Wright as the murderer; they fixed the quilt. Also, John Wright was strangled using a knotted rope but the sheriff and County Attorney could not make the connection between the rope and Mrs. Wright because they ignored the quilt. The rope was knotted in the same pattern used by Minnie while working on the quilt.

Author's Perspective on Marriage and Feminism

The author mainly talks about married life in the early twentieth century, where women were controlled by their husbands, and their opinions were ignored. He also mentions that critics of the play "Trifles" state that feminism should not override the law since Glaspell seems to portray the women in the play positively while they are guilty of a conspiracy to let a murder go unpunished. The introduction, the body, and conclusion are satisfactory.

Works Cited

Maisarah. "A Study of Symbols in Susan Glaspell's Trifles."2014.

Mhayyal, Basaad Maher. "Psychological Domestic Violence against Woman as Reflected in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles‎."CBA (2015): 709-728.

Tahameed, Ei Sadig Hamdi Bushra. "Married Life as Portrayed in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"and Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"Play."Sudan University of Science and Technology, 2015.

December 12, 2023




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