Bird Symbolism In Lord Of The Flies

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The Birds represents more than the threat post by nature

Daphne Du Maurier’s 1952 novelette The Birds depicts a small town in England during WWII where all the birds inexplicably started to attack people. While it perfectly captured nature’s cruel mechanism, The Birds actually represents more than just the threat post by nature. In fact, It also represents the notion of a threatening presence, larger than human beings with unrivalled power, an example of this that people are more familiar with is perhaps warfare. Numerous insinuations of this symbolism can be found in the novel, which this essay will discuss. Another significant detail is that The Birds was published less than a decade after WWII, where literature were often symbolic of warfare, including Lord of the Flies and The Little Prince. This essay will discuss the themes of The Birds, people’s reactions and the symbolism of the birds themselves.

It is interesting to note the shift of power in The Birds, which was also prevalent during warfare. In the novelette, people’s lives were driven by fears of mutilation, extinction and loss of supply and autonomy. They were pushed by the aggression of the birds to go into hiding. This is significant because the roles of human beings and birds have been reversed.
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The major themes of The Birds are fear and survival, likewise the themes of warfare. Not to mention people’s surprisingly similar reactions to the birds and warfare. The birds themselves represent a threat post by an unseen force that is impossible to fight against, such as fear, or more tangibly, bombing planes. These similarities combined with the published time of the novelette, as mentioned in the introduction, when authors took inspiration from war are enough to show that The Birds is in fact symbolic of something other than

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