mrs. wrights unfinished quilt functions as both an important clue and a poignant symbol in the play

what is the significance of the quilt and the act of quilting

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As a motif, the quilt serves to emphasize Minnie Wright's loneliness as well as the uncertainty of her domestic role. The unfinished quilt indicates her unsatisfied wishes for warmth and love in their household, as temperature again proves a convenient symbol for the happiness of the Wrights' relationship. Furthermore, because knotting is easier to do by oneself than quilting, the men's ironic question -- whether Mrs. Wright quilted or knotted the blanket -- takes on a deeper significance. Minnie knots the quilt because she has no one to help her. In the era of Trifles, women learned to quilt at an early age, learning thriftiness and domesticity in the company of other women. The tragedy of Minnie's life is that she has learned to save scraps of cloth for quilts and to discipline herself without gaining the social benefits of quilting.