Friday
October 24, 2014

Homework Help: Literature

Posted by mysterychicken on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 3:25pm.

I had to write an essay analyzing a short story. I wrote about The Birds:

Daphne du Maurier’s short story The Birds is a story of an old war veteran, his family, and how they battle fierce birds. It starts out on the third of December on the Cornish coast of England. The weather has changed overnight from a mild autumn to a cold, harsh winter. Nat Hocken, who works at a farm to support his family, notices a lot of birds that appear more restless than usual. Nobody else believes Nat’s theories about what the birds might be up to until they start attacking. Soon, it is too dangerous to be outside as the birds have already killed all the people around Nat and his family. He boards up his house and eventually they are safe.
The Birds was written to tell us about man’s eternal conflict with nature. Though du Maurier did show how the birds almost wiped out humans, I think her plot was not believable and realistic, thus making the story not interesting to read.
Even though in the end, we see that Nat is safely in his home, the external conflict is not fully resolved; it just ends with him sitting, smoking his last cigarette. I did not like this because it doesn’t tell us the outcome of the birds’ attack: Do they eventually leave or take over the world?
The story includes small details that visually describe the birds and make the images vivid in our minds. ‘Little brains…stabbing beaks…piercing eyes…’ but she doesn’t exactly explain where they came from, and why.
In conclusion, The Birds was a lengthy short story about how humans tried to survive fierce bird attacks that were highly unlikely. The readers can’t connect with the characters at all since no one shares these experiences, and since it’s not that easy to understand, I wouldn’t recommend it to most children.

Thanks
-MC

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