Play “Trifles”: Significance of Symbols

The play by Glaspell is characterized by a variety of significant miseries and categorical contradictions surrounding the lives of married women. The bird in this contest represents the solitary life of Minnie after getting married to Mr. Wright (Glaspell, 2010). The author compares this engagement to a caged canary and the secrets encompassed in the cage, and solitude is experienced (Glaspell, 2010). She tries to build a foundation for feminism and gender equality by bringing to attention the societal view of women and slowly contradicting this view under secrecy.

Minnie often sees the bird as a source of comfort because it provides her with beautiful melodies, which her husband despises. This leads her to believe that her husband is the one who killed the dead pigeon, prompting her to flee the enclosure. Since it gives a way to her bondage, the broken birdcage explicitly represents her liberation from her husband (Glaspell, 2010). Mr. and Mrs. Wright’s unkempt home is also an important icon in the play. Their marriage is evidently in danger, as shown by this. It can also be understood as one of the most important pieces of evidence linking Mrs. Wright to the murder of her husband.

The quilt, which meant Mrs. Wright’s life, was also among the potential ties that linked her to the murder. The prosecutors may want to pay attention to how she treated the black. That is either quilting it or knotting it, which could have obviously assisted them in determining whether she could continue with her marriage or find a way to end it (Glaspell, 2010). The three symbols gathered sufficient proof to prove that she was the killer.


Glaspell, S. (2010). Trifles: A play in one act. Baker’s Plays.

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