Read the plays Trifles by Susan Glaspell and Fences by August Wilson, then answer the questions below. 

  • Describe the bird cage and what Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters say about how and why Minnie Wright got a pet bird.
  • Who/what is Blue?
  • Expert Answers

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    Firstly, I strongly recommend that you read the plays. Doing that will help you to answer most of these questions, which simply ask you to report on important details.

    Before Minnie Wright got married, she was Minnie Foster. Minnie loved to sing but gave up this passion. It's strongly suggested...

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    Firstly, I strongly recommend that you read the plays. Doing that will help you to answer most of these questions, which simply ask you to report on important details.

    Before Minnie Wright got married, she was Minnie Foster. Minnie loved to sing but gave up this passion. It's strongly suggested that she gave up singing so that she could focus on her marital duties. To remain connected to her individuality, she bought a singing bird. Her husband, Mr. Wright, whom Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters recall as a cruel man, killed Mrs. Wright's bird. They conclude that this act must have been one heartbreak too many for Mrs. Wright, whom they believe killed her husband but was justified in doing so. It is for this reason that the women agree to hide evidence.

    If I were you, I would go further with this in trying to understand how marriage and domesticity, particularly at the time in which the play takes place, can become restrictive on women. Ask yourself why the women are capable of empathizing with Mrs. Wright, while the men cannot.

    Blue was Troy's dog during his boyhood in the Deep South. Blue becomes the inspiration for tall-tales that Troy enjoys telling both Cory and Raynell. Blue is a way for Troy to focus on the happy moments in his painful childhood and a way for him to idealize aspects of his early life. It seems, too, that Blue was Troy's only companion in his childhood; the only one whom he could trust and whom he knew loved him unconditionally. Troy's mother is never discussed in the play and his father was callous toward him and even had the gall to have sex with Troy's first girlfriend.

    If I were you, I would think about the importance of Blue in the context of Troy's suffering. I would also think about why he chose to name the dog Blue. How might that be connected to feelings of sadness or even to the blues tradition that developed in the Delta where Troy came from?

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