Drama SHIT - key stuff and symbols Trifles Susan Glaspell...

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key stuff and symbols “Trifles” Susan Glaspell - Canary When gathering up the quilting material, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters discover a fancy little box. Inside, wrapped in silk is a dead canary. Its neck has been wrung. The implic- ation is that Minnie’s husband did not like the canary’s beautiful song (a symbol of his wife’s desire for freedom and happiness) as she used to sing the local church choir be- fore him. So, Mr. Wright busted the cage door and strangled the bird. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters do not tell the men about their discovery. Instead, Mrs. Hale puts the box with the deceased bird into her coat pocket – resolving not to tell the men about this little “trifle” they have uncovered.The strangled bird symbolizes the miserable life led by Mrs. Wright and the cage her prison, now that she has killed him she moved from one prison to another literal one. “A Doll’s House” Henrick Isben - Christmas Tree The Christmas tree, a festive object meant to serve a decorative purpose, symbolizes Nora’s position in her household as a plaything who is pleasing to look at and adds charm to the home. There are several parallels drawn between Nora and the Christmas tree in the play. Just as Nora instructs the maid that the children cannot see the tree un- til it has been decorated, she tells Torvald that no one can see her in her dress until the evening of the dance. Also, at the beginning of the second act, after Nora’s psychologic- al condition has begun to erode, the stage directions indicate that the Christmas tree is correspondingly “dishevelled.” “The Cherry Orchard” Anton Chekhov - String Breaking No one knows what it is when we first hear it in Act Two, and when we last hear it, the only character onstage is in no position to comment. It is the sound of breaking string, an auditory symbol of forgetting. It first is heard in the play after Gayev gives a soliloquy on the eternity of nature; Firs tells us it was heard before, around the time the serfs were freed (a seminal event in Russian history). It is last heard just as Firs, the old manservant who functions as the play's human connection to the past, passes away, and is juxtaposed against the sound of an axe striking a cherry tree. With its simple im- age of breaking line, the sound serves to unify the play's social allegory with its examin- ation of memory, providing a more graphic counterpart to the Cherry Orchard's hover- ing, off-stage presence. The Orchard -
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2011 for the course ENGL 410 taught by Professor Brockmann during the Spring '08 term at University of Delaware.

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Drama SHIT - key stuff and symbols Trifles Susan Glaspell...

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