Trifles By Susan Glaspell Symbolism Essay Sample

For my english class I had to write an essay on Susan Glaspell's "Trifles". I was hoping you could edit it and tell me if I answered the question correctly, also I don't know if my conclusion is good enough. Any help would be great!!! Thank you!!

How is symbolism employed to establish and underscore the play's meaning?

Symbolism in Trifles

In Susan Glaspell's, "Trifles," symbolism is used to emphasize the meaning of the play. Glaspell writes of a woman who murdered her husband because he was to blame for her cold and lonely life. The women character's in the play, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, solve the murder, while the men, the county attorney and sheriff, wonder about trying to figure it out. Glaspell used symbolism as clues to the murderer's motive that only the women were able to figure out, and in turn kept the motive of the murderer a secret due to the bond of women.

One example of symbolism seen in the play is the assertion that Mrs. Wright was going to knot rather than quilt the patchwork quilt. At the end of the play the county attorney said to the sheriff, "Well, Henry, at least we found out that she was not going to quilt it. She was going to-what is it you call it, ladies?" (Glaspell 1300). Mrs. Hale replied, "We call it-knot it, Mr. Henderson," (Glaspell 1300). The ladies knew that Mrs. Wright killed her husband by tying a rope around his neck, but they weren't going to tell. Karen Alkalay-Gut stated, "This image conveys the sense of knotting the rope around the husband's neck: they have discovered the murderess. And they will 'knot' tell," (8). The women were not going to tell because, "The bond among the women is the essential knot," (Smith 179). This shows that the women solved the murder of who killed Mr. Wright, but were not going to tell because of the bond that they have with their fellow woman, Mrs. Wright.

Another example of symbolism was the dead canary and bird cage. As the women were gathering some of Mrs. Wright's things they discovered a bird cage with a broken door and no bird. They later find the bird in Mrs. Wright's sewing box neatly placed in silk with its neck broken. Mrs. Hale makes the relation of the bird to Mrs. Wright when she stated, "she was kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and-fluttery," (Glaspell 1298). The canary was a substitute for children and it displaced the silence of the house. Alkalay-Gut stated that Mrs. Wright "understood her husband's action as a symbolic strangling of herself, his wife. It is not just because he killed the bird, but because she was a caged bird herself," (6). When the women found the bird, they realized that Mrs. Wright killed her husband because he prevented her from communicating with others. In a sense, by strangling the bird he strangled his wife. The women related the bird with Mrs. Wright and, in a sense, felt that Mr. Wright was the murderer for what he did to his wife.

The jar of cherries was another example of symbolism. When the men were going through the kitchen looking for evidence they came across Mrs. Wright's preserves that had frozen and gone bad. Later when the women were alone in the kitchen Mrs. Hale notices that there was one jar of cherries that were still good. The single intact jar of cherries, "symbolizes the one remaining secret, the motive to complete the prosecutor's case. Mrs. Wright stayed on the shelf, alone and unbefriended on the farm, until the coldness of her marriage, her life in general, broke apart," (Smith 175). This shows that Mrs. Wright's secrets burst from the pressure. She could no longer take living with Mr. Wright; she was too lonely and sad. The only people who came to understand this were the other women because of the female bond.

Symbolism was a key part to this short play. Glaspell used it throughout to show the bonding between the women. She used certain items that only the women could understand and relate to in order to exemplify female bonds. The men in the play didn't understand the jar of cherries or even notice the bird cage without a bird because, as Glaspell showed, the men don't think or notice the same things women do.

Works Cited

Alkalay-Gut, Karen. "Jury of Her Peers: The Importance of Trifles." Studies in Short Fiction 21 (Winter 1984): 1-9.
Glaspell, Susan. "Trifles." Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. 8th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2007.

Makowsky, Veronica. Susan Glaspell's Century of American Women: A Critical Interpretation of Her Work. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.
Smith, Beverly A. "Women's Work-Trifles? The Skill and Insights of Playwright Susan Glaspell." International Journal of Women's Studies 5 (March 1982): 172-84.

Greetings!

I think you've done a good job discussing the symbolism in the play. I do have a few suggestions for you.

In Susan Glaspell's, "Trifles," symbolism is used to emphasize the meaning of the play. - This statement may be just a little too general, perhaps stating the obvious. Perhaps you could be more specific about what you mean by "the meaning of the play."

The women characters in the play, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, solve the murder, while the men, the county attorney and sheriff, wonder about trying to figure it out. - never use an apostrophe to make a word plural.

there was one jar of cherries that was still good. - The subject is "jar"; the jar was...

Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com

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." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=109266>.

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.



0 Replies to “Trifles By Susan Glaspell Symbolism Essay Sample”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *