bird cage, dead bird and wifes spirit
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After Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale discover the dead canary in Mrs. Wright's sewing basket, they realize that her murder of her husband did not result solely from her unhappiness in her marriage but from an enforced return to solitude by the killing of her pet bird. Mrs. Wright killed her spouse because she could think of no more fitting revenge than to inflict damage in kind to the perpetrator. This realization catalyzes Mrs. Peters' sense of empathy, as she recalls having had similar feelings many years ago when a boy killed her kitten. For these women, the pain that results from the death of a loved one is so great that it deserves any punishment necessary. Nevertheless, the play leaves open the question of whether Mrs. Wright will still be convicted without the evidence, and similarly we must decide for ourselves if revenge is a sufficient motive for murder.