1. How is the bird symbolic of Minnie Wright
A bird that is domesticated is in essence trapped and forced into captivity for the pleasure of its owner, and it becomes solely dependent on its captor for survival. This symbolizes the relationship between Minnie and her husband, Mr. Wright. Minnie felt trapped and dependent on Mr. Wright who was bitter and old fashioned when it came to dominating the relationship. Mrs. Hale describes Minnie, ?????¦was kind of like a bird herself-real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and-fluttery??? (Glaspell).? ? He was drawn to Minnie??™s beauty and happiness, but never treated her with the respect and adoration you would have for a loving partner, but that of a master and his pet. He held her captive until her spirit could no longer fly.? ? The bird remains a symbol even through its death. As the bird dies, so does Minnie??™s spirit.? The bird??™s ultimate ???freedom??? through death also resonates with Minnie??™s freedom through her husband??™s death.? ? Even though she is jailed in the play, her spirit is freed through the revenge she enacts upon Mr. Wright. Just as her husband has silenced the bird by breaking its neck, Minnie has broken his neck to silence his oppression.
2. How does Mrs. Hales concealment of the dead bird (the death of which displays John Wrights cruel treatment of his wife) resolve the plays central conflict, thus showing the insight leading to change that has taken place in the protagonist
3. How is the title ironic Explain what it means and how this relates to the play.
Trifles are typically items of little importance or value. In the play, the title is appropriate due to the significance of the everyday items that the two women stumble upon in the home of Mrs. Wright.? While the sheriff and county attorney search for evidence against Mrs. Wright in the murder of her husband, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are aiding Mrs. Wright by concealing everything that they believe could be used against her. Take for instance the dead bird. The bird has been discovered with a broken neck, similar to the manner in which John Wright died. Or perhaps the quilt….Mrs. Wright had perfect, uniform stitches, yet suddenly, the stitches had become jagged and inconsistent, as if she had suddenly become very nervous.?
The irony is that the items that were mentioned in this play seemed to be [to the male investigators] items of little importance or value. Yet, when combined with the knowledge of the murder that had occurred in the house the day before, these petty objects suddenly are invested with a great deal of worth.
4. What is the symbolism of the quilt
? An unfinished quilting block with neatly sewn stitches that suddenly become sloppy symbolize Minnie??™s break with her orderly routines of running her household.? ? Quilts represent the warmth of a happy home and provide protection from the cold harsh weather.? ? As Minnie??™s quilting block stitches deteriorate, so does her home life.? ? ???It looks as if she didn??™t know what she was about!??? exclaims Mrs. Hale as she observes the quilt block (Glaspell).? ? The warmth and protection that a happy home provides were ripped away from her, stitch by stitch.? ? The women??™s efforts to put the house back in order symbolize their empathy with Minnie??™s situation.? ? Mrs. Hale ???rips??? the poorly sewn stitches of Minnie??™s quilt out and begins to repair the quilting block in an effort to repair the guilt she feels over neglecting her friendship with Minnie.? ?
5. Explain the verbal irony in the question the County Atty asks the women, ???Did she quilt it or knot it”
It is a play on words referring to how Minnie killed her husband.