In the play Trifles, Susan Glaspell explores the theme of how insignificant items like the broken door of a bird cage, can reveal the truth. From the beginning of the play, Susan Glaspell makes frequent references to the symbol of a bird’s cage assembling a broken marriage. One such example is found in the following excerpt” why look at this. It’s broke. One hinge is pulled apart. Looks as if someone must have been rough with it” (986). This quote about the bird’s cage door represents the lack of love their marriage had. In addition, the broken door symbolizes a revealed truth about John Wright having two personas.
For example, the outward persona is represented as Mrs. Hale says he was “a good man … he didn’t drink, and kept his word as well as most, I guess and paid his debts” (986). The way Mrs. Hale identifies Mr. Wright is that he was a good man to the public from an outside perspective. However, his private persona was revealed to be “a hard man” (986). The private persona of Mr. Wright, according to Mrs. Hale, is “Like a raw wind that gets to the bone “(986). Glaspell further reinforces the theme of a bird’s cage revealing the truth through the actions of Mrs. Wright. This Theme is presented again when Mrs. Hale says Mrs. Wright was “Like a bird… real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and fluttery” (987). At this point, one can realize that the cage the bird was in was a reflection of the life that Mrs. Wright hid from others. In conclusion, the disassembled bird’s cage exposed the flaws in the Wright’s marriage. From the outside it looks like a traditional loving marriage. However, the investigation revealed that the broken door of the bird’s cage was as their marriage. In the end the truth of their marriage was revealed as a burden.