Symbolism of Trifles

Essay by fortun21University, Bachelor'sB-, March 2004

download word file, 4 pages 3.5 1 reviews

Downloaded 206 times

Symbolism of Trifles

Webster's dictionary defines symbolism as the art or practice of using symbols especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations. Looking at the symbolism from different perspectives gives a whole new meaning to the story. At first glance Trifles may seem to be an ordinary murder mystery. However when digging deeper into the play we see that Susan Glaspell puts many various symbols into the story which gives the reader a more open sense of what the characters are thinking or their reasoning.

In the beginning of the play Glaspell begins with the symbolism of Mrs. Wright in the rocking chair I believe the rocking chair is a sign that Mrs. Wright is frightened although she is trying to remain calm. She was holding her apron and bunching it up. She is sitting in the rocker when she tells Hale that her husband "died of a rope around his neck"(3).

Spoken as if she were not at all in an emotional state. When I first read this I was under the impression that Mrs. Wright was scared or possibly in shock, dealing with the fact that she was going to be caught. However, reading through it again made me realize that the rocking chair can also be a sign of tranquility. She was finally at peace, and that the rocking chair was where she liked to spend her quiet time.

Although later in the play we once again see the symbolism play through in the preserves. We also see that women are very concerned about Mrs. Wright's preserves. We see that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale observe the kitchen as the men go upstairs.

They notice that the cherry preserves were broken as...