symbolism "Trifles" Essay

648 WordsFeb 12, 20093 Pages
Symbolism-“Trifles” Upon reading Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles,” the use of symbolism through certain objects conveys a different, yet significant, meaning to the story. Glaspell uses household items throughout the play to portray a particular lifestyle in which women lived in the early 20th century. An apron, a birdcage, a small bird, and the title “Trifles” are used to symbolize security, confinement, and happiness. As the play progresses, the symbols have a deeper meaning to the women and the reader. In the beginning of the play, Minnie Wright is sitting in her rocking chair pleating her apron and acting unusual. This gives the reader a reason to believe that there is something wrong because the apron is to be used in the kitchen and not to fiddle with. Minnie uses her apron as a sense of comfort and security from the crime she has committed. When Minnie requests for Mrs. Peters to bring her apron, it confirms that her apron is a safety net although there is not much use for it in prison. On the other hand, Minnie’s apron also symbolizes the woman’s place in the home. According to the men in the play, Minnie needed to pay more attention to her kitchen. This also symbolizes a great divide between men and women in the early 1900s. However, as we see throughout the progression of the play, the women gain more confidence and pride upon the discovery of the dead bird. When Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale find the birdcage hidden in the kitchen cabinets, it is a form of symbolism to the confinement Minne was experiencing in her own home. Mrs. Hale also makes a point to the men that she doesn’t communicate with her neighbor as much as she would have liked because the house “never seemed a cheerful place.” The lack of communication to those outside of her house may have lead Minnie to her decision to murder her husband. The broken hinge on the birdcage and the dead

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