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Your question concerns either Susan Glaspell's short story, "A Jury of her Peers," or the one-act drama companion piece, "Trifles," also written by Glaspell.
Either way, Minnie Wright is a woman trapped in a man's world. Her life is joyless and without happiness. She is stuck in the role society requires her to fulfill. She must be subordinate to her husband and has no life of her own. Her world is her kitchen.
Her only peace and rest comes from a little, singing bird.
When her husband kills the bird, Minnie won't take it anymore. You know the rest.
What Minnie suffered from her husband is reflected in the dismissal of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters by the other men in the story/play. They are not considered worthy to do real detective work, but it is the two women that figure out what really went on in the Wright home.
A woman can tolerate just so much; when she is locked away from her dreams and the delightful life she was used to, morbid hatred begins to accumulate. Minnie Foster, in “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, had been forced to change her delightful self into an austere and obedient housewife, a tragic change that eventually leads her to murder her husband, John Wright. Minnie Foster, or Minnie Wright is therefore, a morbidly dynamic character whose dreams represented by the singing canary, was crushed by John Wright.
The death of the singing canary, an alter ego of Minnie Foster, reveals the inanimate marriage she underwent and the motivation behind the murder of her husband, John Wright. There was a time when Minnie Foster was “…like the bird”; she was “…sweet and pretty…” and loved to sing. It was only after she married when she really “… [changed]”. Living a life full of “nothing”, the canary was her only companion, an alter ego that was still free enough to sing. Yet, when John Wright “…wrung its neck”, it not only led to the bird’s death but also Minnie Foster’s death due to “…lack of life”; he ultimately destroyed the last innocence and youth that was left inside her. It also explains why John Wright was “chocked” to death leaving the gun in the house untouched. It had only seemed fair to Minnie Wright that her husband should suffer the same way since he had wrung the dreams and therefore life out of her.
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