How is the setting of Trifles symbolic of Minnie Wright?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting of the play Trifles by Susan Glaspell is symbolic of Mrs. Wright.

The stage is set in a small, dark kitchen in a small house. It does not have any decoration: it is without color and without warmth. The room is a mess: there are dirty dishes at the sink, bread is sitting out, and a towel lies on the table rather than being hung. The house is physically cold. The feel of this place is more a building than a home. It is rather lifeless, but one expects it would have been that way even had the owners been present.

Minnie Wright is very similar. Whereas she used to be a pretty young thing that sang in the church choir, with a beautiful voice, she has been robbed of the glow of life. She has been beaten down by the circumstances in which she lives: her heart is cold. Things are out of order: she has killed her husband. And like the house, she, too, is lifeless: no smile, no spark in her eyes. When the men come into the house looking for her husband, she is quietly rocking in a chair. She answers when spoken to, but she has no energy or animation.

The house and the woman are dark and cold. Both are joyless and empty of warmth or life.