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Symbolism of Handmaid

             In the early nineteen hundreds women were treated as peons by the men of that era. In the early 1900's as well women were not to have jobs and not to have friends or anything for themselves. They were to do just as their husbands had said. .
             Although there is more symbolic imagery in Trifles and more symbolic action in .
             Antigone, both plays use symbolism to emphasize the theme of women struggling against .
             the conventions of their times.
             In Trifles by Susan Glaspell the use of symbolism is made readily apparent to its reader. Look at the "Jar of Cherries."" "This is symbolic of Minnie's life and attitude. Minnie herself stayed on the shelf, alone and unbefriended on the farm, until the coldness of her marriage, her life in general, broke her apart. Her secrets kept under pressure burst from their fragile containers The single intact jar symbolizes the one remaining secret , the motive to complete the prosecutor's case- (Smith 185). If you know about preserves you know that preserves explode from lack of heat. In Minnie's case, this is the lack of love and affection. (Add an extra twist to this in my own words).
             The name Mrs. Wright is also symbolic. The name puts a pun on the surname emphasizing her lack of "rights,"" and implying her "right- to free herself against the societal sanctioned "right- of her husband to control the family. (Ben-Zvi 153-153).
             In addition, there is the symbol of the bird. How is the bird symbolic in the story? Look at the text of when Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale first found the bird:.
             Mrs. Hale: Here's some red. I expect that this has got sewing things in it. What a .
             pretty box. Looks like something somebody would give you. Maybe her scissors .
             are in here. There's something wrapped up in this piece of silk. .
             Mrs. Peters: Why, this isn't her scissors. .
             Mrs. Hale: Oh, Mrs. Peters - it's -.
             Mrs. Peters: It's the bird. .
             Mrs. Hale: But Mrs. Peters - look at it! It's neck! Look at its neck! It's all - other .

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