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The setting of the story is the Wright farmhouse, where the murder of Mr. Wright took place. The house is very plain, without much ornamentation, and shows how much Minnie's creativity was stifled by her marriage. She did quilt, but the quilt showed signs of mental exhaustion, going from neat stitching to messy stitching. The glass jars of jam in the cupboard have shattered from the cold, symbolizing the destruction of everything colorful or sweet in Minnie's life as she lived in the cold house with an uncaring husband.
MRS. HALE: I could've come. I stayed away because it weren't cheerful -- and that's why I ought to have come. I -- I've never liked this place. Maybe because it's down in a hollow and you don't see the road. I dunno what it is, but it's a lonesome place and always was. I wish I had come over to see Minnie Foster sometimes. I can see now -- [Shakes her head.]
(Glaspell, Trifles, etext.virginia.edu)
The house is "lonesome" because there is no love and joy there. Minnie's life was changed from outgoing and cheerful to lonely and sad when she married; the house, which the men comment is not very neat, is a symbol of her misery. Without the ability to vent her frustrations and express herself, and without a social understanding of her personal issues, Minnie became much like the house: lonely, not cheerful, and without any direct friends to help her through the hard times.
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