In Trifles, what was Mrs. Wright's change before and after marriage?

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Before marriage, Mrs. Hale says that Mrs. Wright—when she was still Minnie Foster—"used to wear pretty clothes and be lively." She was "one of the town girls singing in the choir," but this was many years ago. In recent times, Mrs. Wright's home hasn't been a cheerful place, although Mrs. Hale blames that on Mr. Wright, who was "close," rather than on Mrs. Wright.

After her marriage, Mrs. Wright kept to herself and "didn't even belong to the Ladies' Aid," which, it is inferred, was very out of the ordinary. The women speculate that perhaps she didn't go out much or talk to other women because she felt bad about not having much money, but Mrs. Hale also makes it clear that Mrs. Wright's husband didn't make her life pleasant. The men talk about how she wasn't much of a housewife, but the women notice that she had jarred her fruit and was piecing a quilt. Mrs. Hale, who knew her, talks about how Mrs. Wright was "kind of like a bird herself—real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery." She makes it clear that after marriage, Mrs. Wright changed a great deal from the way she was before her marriage, and not for the better.

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We learn from Mrs. Hale, who has known Minnie for years, that she was once a bright young woman. Remembering the past as she sits with Mrs. Peters in Minnie's kitchen, Mrs. Hale tells her that Minnie was once lively. She wore pretty clothes and sang in the choir; she was also sweet and fluttery, and a little timid.

In the thirty years that have passed since, however, Minnie has become isolated and unhappy. She now wears shabby clothes and doesn't even belong to the Ladies Aid Society, which is the kind of group every farm woman is expected to join.

Mrs. Hale now wishes she had come to see Minnie more often, but she explains that her house, located down in a hollow, was depressing:

I stayed away because it weren't cheerful...it's a lonesome place and always was.

Mrs. Hale describes John Wright, Minnie's husband, as a hard man with a cold personality like a "raw wind."

From Mrs. Hale's description, we can see that Minnie is very much like the canary that Mr. Wright killed: she was once lively, fluttery, sweet, pretty, and sang like a bird. She too ended up isolated and locked in a cage, at the mercy of a harsh man, with no children for solace. We can understand how Minnie identified with the bird her husband killed and how she finally snapped, retaliating for the abuse.

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We learn about the dramatic changes in Minnie Foster, after she becomes Mrs. John Wright, through the commentary of Mrs. Hale.

As a fellow farmer's wife and country woman, Mrs. Hale has witnessed first hand how things go in the lives of her social peers. This said, she was quite aware that something was not right after Minnie married John.

Mrs. Hale says that, when Minnie was single, she was a girl who sang like a bird in the church choir, and that:

[s]he used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that—oh, that was thirty years ago.

Another indication of the deep changes about to take over Minnie Foster after marriage have to do with her overall appearance before and after.

I wish you'd seen Minnie Foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and sang.

After she became Mrs. Wright, Minnie Foster underwent a profound change. A close reading will indicate that she was a victim of domestic abuse by her husband. The abuse branched out into a number of consequences, including Minnie feeling ashamed and "shabby" about herself, to the point of not socializing anymore.

Arguably, John Wright may have controlled the way she looked, whom she spoke to, and every activity she did. As a result, a lonely farm life becomes even lonelier and more isolated. Minnie must have been quite miserable.

she kept . . . much to herself. She didn't even belong to the Ladies Aid. . . . she felt she couldn't do her part, and then you don't enjoy things when you feel shabby.

Therefore, Minnie Foster was a woman who seemed content with who she was and with the life she was leading during the years that she was single. She was cheerful, artistic, and expressed herself through music and singing.

After marrying John Wright, she was taken over entirely by her husband, and her quality of life diminished to the point of her being trapped in her own home with an abusive man. This is the same man who wrung the neck of Minnie's only companion, a canary. It is the general understanding of the play that the wringing of the bird's neck is the event that caused Minnie to snap and kill John Wright.

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Minnie Wright is described by the ladies as being a lovely girl who sang in the church choir (like the canary she had bought and probably loved) who wore bright dresses and was rosy-cheeked and positively pleasant before marriage.  The kitchen and her appearance as described by the men who took her in are stark by comparison.  She is sullen, alone, depressed, and not comfortable without her apron which now defines her.  The women comment on how hard farm work is, especially in the isolated area of the Wright farm.  This is why, when they discover the dead bird wrapped lovingly in silk and tucked gently into the sewing box, the women suddenly understand that Minnie did kill her husband for being a cruel and unrelenting man who basically "killed" the songbird that Minnie once was.  They silently come to the decision not to show the men the evidence and to conceal the proof of Minnie's crime under their coats.

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