the bird cage and canary provide a central symbol to the play but how is the symbol introduced and developed through the play, what is the relation to the play's title, and how does it help to establish Mrs. Wright's motivation?
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The name of the play refers specifically to Lewis Hale's casual statement that "women are used to worrying over trifles" near the beginning of the play, when Mrs. Peters' attention is drawn to the broken jars of fruit preserves. Hale offers this statement in an indulgently superior manner, but the fallacy of his assumptions becomes clear as the women proceed to solve the case precisely by looking at the minor details. In their search for external, smoking gun evidence outside of the kitchen and living room, the men do not recognize that all the necessary information about her motives rests in the domestic area at the center of Mrs. Wright's life. Mrs. Hale says defensively that nothing is wrong with looking at little things while waiting for evidence, but in reality, she is not waiting for evidence but actively discovering it as she develops a picture of Minnie Wright's dismal home life.