Trifles Symbolism Essay

The Three Symbols in Trifles by Susan Glaspell

  • Length: 305 words (0.9 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
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.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Three Symbols in Trifles by Susan Glaspell." 10 Mar 2018

LengthColor Rating 
Feminimity and Masculinity in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essays - Feminimity and Masculinity in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Works Cited Not Included Trifles, a one-act play, written by Susan Glaspell, has an interesting plot about an abusive husband?s murder at the hands of his abused wife on a secluded farm in the Midwest (Russell, pg. 1). The opening scene of the play gives us a great deal of information about the people of the play and their opinions. The play portrays the ways in which men treated women during this time period. The men in the reading reflected a male-oriented society, which caused the women feelings of repression and unappreciation....   [tags: Trifles Susan Glaspell Essays]974 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay about The Treatment of Women in Trifles by Susan Glaspell - The Treatment of Women in Trifles by Susan Glaspell "Trifles," a one-act play written by Susan Glaspell, is a cleverly written story about a murder and more importantly, it effectively describes the treatment of women during the early 1900s. In the opening scene, we learn a great deal of information about the people of the play and of their opinions. We know that there are five main characters, three men and two women. The weather outside is frighteningly cold, and yet the men enter the warm farmhouse first....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Plays Essays Trifles]844 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Examination of Mrs Wright in Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay - Examination of Mrs Wright in Trifles by Susan Glaspell The play ?Trifles?, by Susan Glaspell , is an examination of the different levels of early 1900?s mid-western farming society?s attitudes towards women and equality. The obvious theme in this story is men discounting women?s intelligence and their ability to play a man?s role, as detectives, in the story. A less apparent theme is the empathy the women in the plot find for each other. Looking at the play from this perspective we see a distinct set of characters, a plot, and a final act of sacrifice....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Trifles Essays]1007 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay on The Danger in Susan Glaspell's Trifles - The Danger in Susan Glaspell's Trifles Susan Glaspell's 'Trifles' is a play about a real life murder case that uses symbolism to help bring it to a close. It is easy to see that Mr. and Mrs. Wright live in a society that is cut off from the outside world and also strongly separated by gender. Three of the key symbols in Glaspell's play are a simple bird cage, a quilt, and isolationism. Anna Uong of Virginia Tech and Karen Shelton of JSRCC share these same ideas on symbolism. These three symbols are the main clues that help the reader decide who killed Mr....   [tags: Essays Papers Glaspell Trifles ]
:: 1 Works Cited
811 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay on A Psychoanalytical Perspective of Susan Glaspell’s Trifle - The psychoanalytical perspective is a method of shifting from a hidden to an obvious subject matter which encompasses a process of awareness as well as translation (The Free Dictionary by Farlex, 2010). From a psychoanalyst perspective I will examine the linguistic symbolism of the text in the short play, “Trifle” to arrive at the underlying suppressed concepts of the author. Susan Glaspell- an Iowa native- filled her play with a hint of mid-western flavor. She also made a point to include a sense of feminist pride which was mirrored by her three main characters, Mrs....   [tags: Susan Glaspell, Trifle]
:: 2 Works Cited
1070 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Susan Glaspell's Trifles and A Jury of Her Peers Essay - In the early 1900's Susan Glaspell wrote many works, two stand out, the play "Trifles" and the short story "A Jury of Her Peers". Trifles was written in 1920, while "A Jury of Her Peers" was written the following year. Trifles was written in only ten days. The true greatness of these works were not recognized until the 1970's. In the short story "A Jury of Her Peers" a woman named Minnie Wright is accused of the murder of her husband. Minnie Wright is a farmer's wife and is also isolated from the out side world....   [tags: Susan Glaspell Trifles A Jury of Her Peers Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1762 words
(5 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay on Susan Glaspell’s Trifles - The first reading I enjoyed was Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles”. The main character in the plat is a sheriff, his wife, the county attorney, and Mr. and Mrs. Hale. The opening scene is all of them in John Wright’s kitchen. Mr. Hale tells the sheriff and attorney how he a visited the house on the day before day and Mrs. Wright greeted him but her demeanor was little suspicions. She told him that her husband was upstairs dead. She says she was asleep when someone choked her husband to death. All the men suspect she is the murderer....   [tags: Trifles Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1236 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Analysis of Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay - "Trifles" is a play with a unified plot. Although there are verbal flashbacks to the events of the day of the murder of John Wright, the play's entire plot begins and ends in a span of one day. The author also extends the unified plot to create a single setting (the farmhouse kitchen). The plot centers on John Wright's murder. Mrs. Wright is the main suspect; an investigation is taking place as to the motive or reason for the crime. The Sheriff, Mr. Hale and the County Attorney are introduced first to the audience....   [tags: Susan Glaspell]815 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Susan Glaspell's Trifles - Little Things Mean a Lot Essay - Little Things Mean a Lot in Trifles Susan Glaspell's play, Trifles, explores the fact that women pay attention to the little things that may lead to the solving of a bigger problem. Why are women so into the little things. The attention to detail seems to be the starting point to solving the bigger problem. Think of the little things as pieces of a puzzle. When the small pieces come together you see the bigger picture. In the play Trifles the men seem to think the women only worry about the little things, or trifles....   [tags: Trifles Essays]1125 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Susan Glaspell's Trifles - Some Observations Essay - Trifles I would like to make three major points. Major #1: Since this is the first play we’ve read, the stage direction really caught my eye and I tended to consider it very seriously in determining the meaning of the work. The most obvious direction, which the essay by Parrish discusses, is that neither Mr. nor Mrs. Wright ever appear in the play, and Glaspell was the first to use this type of direction (which was later recognized as uniquely her own.) Other important examples of the play’s direction (not spoken lines) are: ( ......   [tags: Trifles Essays]896 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

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.

Susan Glaspell, an author of one-act play “Trifles” (1916), described the position of women in the twentieth-century American society through symbolism. An author argued that men restricted women rights and freedom; they strived to make their wives dependable. Among several symbols used by Susan Glaspell in her play, the most important one is definitely a bird.

A bird is used in reference to the main character of the play, Minnie Foster, who became Mrs. Wright after her marriage to John Wright. Mrs. Wright had a canary in the cage in their quiet farmhouse. The bird used to sing a lot, but Mr. Wright did not like this singing. There were no children in their family, and Minnie often felt lonely and miserable. That is why she bought a bird. She treated this bird as if it was her child, and she also liked to sing to a bird; it meant a lot to a woman who was very lonely and unhappy in her marriage. The birdcage in the play is the symbol of Minnie’s restricted freedom.  By using this symbol, the author compares Minnie with a bird trapped in a “cage” of her marriage. 

Once the dead bird wrapped in silk was found in Mrs. Wright’s sewing basket. There is no direct indication of who did this to the bird, but it is quite obvious that only Mr. Wright could do this to a canary since he disliked its singing. His wife “was in the choir in her younger years and others enjoyed her voice”. With the death of her bird, Minnie felt like she had lost a part of herself and her voice. This was a turning point of the entire play. From this moment, Minnie’s transformation from a victim of a marriage into a free woman began. “She – come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself – real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and – fluttery. How – she – did – change”. It is obvious that marriage changed Mrs. Wright’s character, but she could not accept this change and at the end killed her husband in a pursuit of freedom.

Thus, a bird in the play “Trifles” symbolizes Mrs. Wright, her sweet and friendly character before the changes caused by unhappy marriage. The bird could be also a symbol of Minnie’s unborn children that she could devote all her love and caring to if she had them. When her husband killed a bird, he obviously killed a lot more than just his wife’s singing. Finally, Minnie realized that she was no longer willing to live in the birdcage and paid extremely high price for the desired freedom.

Custom Symbolism of a Bird in 'Trifles' Essay

Order Now!Hesitating?

Related essays

  1. Great Expectations
  2. The White Witch
  3. Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?
  4. He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *