How is the relationship between Stephen and Isabelle started and developed in Part one of Birdsong?
Part one of Birdsong begins in France 1910 which involves young Englishman Stephen Wraysford coming to Amiens to learn more about the textile industry and to stay with the Azaire family. This sets the context and is relevant as it is a period of industrial and civil unrest. The novel is written in the third person and Stephen’s presence allows for an outsider’s view of the family with him not stating his opinion and being neutral between sides. From the start there’s a mutual attraction between Stephen and Isabelle. Stephen finds this in some assets of Isabelle’s character firstly when Isabelle comments on a beautiful piece of music she
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This section is mainly significant for when Stephen and Isabelle make love, the earlier parts of the novel have been building up to this as the sexual tension is released between both characters. The act is instigated initially by Steven when he pulls her towards him once Lisette leaves however it is continued by Isabelle when she asks him to come to the red room. This scene however is slightly different as it has connotations of a fairy tale. “By the time Stephen turned round she had gone. The red room. He panicked. He was sure it would be one of those he had once seen but could never refind; it would be like a place in a dream that remains out of reach; it would always be behind him” this may be due to the recognition of both their optimum feelings towards each other. The scene in the red room is also relevant for what it reveals about Isabelle’s thought processes “She wanted him to bring alive what she had buried, and not to demean, destroy her fabricated self” this describes how she sees Stephen as her saviour. They continue to make love secret; he asks her to come to England. Azaire hears a rumour of Isabelle having an affair with Lucien and helping the strikers families, Isabelle admits to helping the families as she is no long afraid of her husband as she is no under the protection of Stephen. She says she has been having an affair with Stephen, not Lucien. Stephen takes the blame saying he