How Does Faulks Create an Increasing Sense of Foreboding During Act One?

691 Words Apr 23rd, 2013 3 Pages
How does Faulks create an increasing sense of foreboding during Act One?
Faulks conveys an increasingly strong sense of foreboding throughout Part One of Birdsong. Although Faulks makes use of various portentous motifs, the ‘water-gardens’ scene, and ‘cathedral’ scene, are two clear examples of Faulks foreshadowing the turbulence of the future.
Notably, prior to the ‘water-gardens’ scene, and ‘cathedral’ scene, as Stephen ‘emptied his pocket of items he no longer needed’, Faulks provides the reader with a glaringly obvious use of foreshadowing. Faulks briefly describes the ‘railway tickets’ and ‘blue leather notebook’, before drawing particular attention to a ‘single, scrupulously sharpened blade’. Stephen’s ownership of this blade is
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Stephen acknowledges that ‘we are all to be taken back by this earth’, referencing the hideous slaughter of World War One. Furthermore, the ‘ill-fated warship’, on which Stephen and Isabelle are present, may be portentous of their hopeless future. They are headed for ‘ice, and equatorial winds’ – contrasting the heated, sexual tension of the ‘water-gardens’ – which may foreshadow the evaporation of their passion for one another. To Stephen, ‘the sensation of desire became indistinguishable from that of one towards death’, and this synonymous representation of two otherwise contrasting states of being, may represent the unnatural nature of Stephen and Isabelle’s love. Equally, Faulks may be trying to convey the condemned, destructive nature of their love for one another.
Faulks further references World War One with Stephen’s contemplative reflection within the cathedral. Stephen stands with a plaque, commemorating a bishop, ‘beneath his feet’. His, the bishop’s, name ‘still not [to have been] erased by the traffic of the years, implying that, eventually, each of us returns to nothing; that life is a ‘blink of light between two eternities of darkness’. Time, inevitably, will erase any memory of death. Any memorial is derisory. Stephen feels that religion can provide little relief, when faced with Death. Stephen’s feeling that religion provides little relief is

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