"Trifles" essay

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The foremost symbol that Susan Glaspell employs in her narration “Trifles” is the party phone. Lewis Hale visits the home of John Wright after his death. He basically comes to find out about division of the cost related to the telephone services. Earlier on, he had requested Wright on whether they could share the payment. Nonetheless, Wright had shown no interest. He thought that by asking again in the presence of Mrs. Wright things would change. He was not aware that, “…what his wife wanted made much difference to John”. The author goes on to bring the kitchen as another symbol. The whole play consists of five characters. Among these five characters there are three men and two women.  They include the sheriff, Henry Peters, the attorney of the country, Henderson George, the neighbor of Wright, Hale Lewis as well as the two women Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters. Despite the fact that everyone of these characters had been in the kitchen, Henderson asserts that Mrs. Wright, “…was not so much of a housekeeper” (Glaspell, 2009). He utters this in reference to the messy kitchen. Due to this, Mrs. Hale comes to her defense as she informs Henderson about the work to be carried out on the farm. The idea that these men were using the kitchen’s status to come up with information that would enable them to convict her makes the kitchen symbolic.

In addition, Glaspell uses a quilt as a symbol to further reinforce her argument. Prior to the assassination of her husband, Mrs. Wright was in the process of coming up with a quilt. Mrs. Hale observes that the shape of the quilt was in the pattern of a log cabin. This pattern is noteworthy for the reason that it implies an idea of emptiness and restriction. There exists no proof that the cabin is comfortable and warm. As a result, the quilt characterizes the constraint and pessimism associated with their matrimonial affiliation. What’s more, Mrs. Hale inquires from Mrs. Peters whether Mrs. Wright had planned to knot or quilt the blanket (Glaspell, 2009). This may turn out to be humorous but it is a crucial part of the narration. This is due to the idea that Mrs. Wright is alleged to have utilized an entangled rope to execute her husband. As Mrs. Hale was inquiring, she is overheard by the men who end up laughing at her.  At the end of the narration, the attorney of the country says, “…at least the women found that Mrs. Wright was not going to quilt it”. Consequently, he enquires from the women the precise term to be utilized. To this, Mrs. Hale replies, "We call it - knot it" (Chesterton, 2004). Glaspell employs this black joke to conclude the narration, accentuating the indistinctness of the looping in the quilt as well as the "knotting" of Mr. Wright’s neck by her wife.

The bird counts as the most important symbol in the narration. While Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale were excluded from the men, they checked the sewing basket of Mrs. Wright. In doing so, they came across a dead bird which was wrapped up in silk (Cockin, 2001). On viewing it carefully, they noticed that had been throttled by a rope in the neck. Mrs. Hale puts forward that Mr. Wright won’t tolerate any bird in his house since singing was not his thing. On the other hand, Mrs. Wright had been in the choir in her teenage years and had a voice that was loved by others. Mrs. Hale suggests that her husband "killed his wife's singing". This symbol is important as one may argue in either ways as to who actually strangled the bird. It can be put that Mr. Wright might have strangled the bird in the way he muffled his wife's singing. This could act as a reason why Mrs. Wright retaliated against his husband. On the other hand, the killer of the bird could have been Mrs. Wright. She could have carried out this act out of jealousy that the bird could sing freely unlike her.

“Trifles”, a composition by Susan Glaspell, commences with Minnie Wright being blamed for executing John, her husband. The narration is filled with symbolism. The narrator has used this technique to convey the message to her audience. In this creation, Mrs. Wright is time and again referenced, and even though she is not seen, she is exceptionally identifiable. There are significant symbols in this narration that connote Mrs. Wright and her life as it was before and as it presently exists. An example of a symbol used is the canary which stands for Mrs. Wright's protracted elapsed past. In addition, the birdcage stands for her life as it presently is. Without doubt the quilt is a representation, which is a significant indication on the manner in which Mr. Wright was slain (Cockin, 2001). Furthermore, the rocking chair symbolizes her diminished life all through the period of her survival. Lastly, the cherry containers preserves seem to symbolize the compassion and warmth that she has so far discovered in her life. Each and every one of these symbols characterizes Mrs. Wright’s nature and her life in the narration. Generally, symbolism has helped in bringing out the true nature of Mrs. Wright.

In general, Glaspell's employment of symbols to prop up her argument that women’s rights are restricted by men is very clear. The author utilizes the kitchen, party telephone, bird as well as quilt as symbols to demonstrate the techniques used by Mr. Wright in restricting his wife. It is brought out in this narration that Mrs. Wright is obligated to remain silent since of her husband decided that she would not to have a telephone. In another instance, her kitchen is despised by men who ought to be concerned with Mr. Wright’s death. This brings out their selfish acts. Consequently, the quilt which she makes is in the shape of a log cabin. This model symbolizes the restriction faced by the women. The discovery of a strangulated bird in the sewing box of Mrs. Wright's stands for the oppression faced by these women. These symbols play a crucial role in assisting the author in presenting her argument that the liberty of women is prohibited by men.

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