The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier Literature Analysis Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: May 1st, 2020

What evidence of foreshadowing is there in either the story or the movie?

In his masterpiece work, The Birds and Other Stories, Daphne Du Maurier uses foreshadowing in numerous occasions throughout the story. Conventionally in literature, foreshadowing is used to highlight some plot developments, which occur later on in the story. In the story The Birds, Du Maurier posits, “The birds had been more restless than ever this fall of the year” (312).

Normally, birds are peaceful and admirable creatures especially whilst in their natural habitats. Therefore, the restlessness noted by Du Maurier foreshadows something bad, which is about to happen. Normally, foreshadowing does not necessarily imply that bad things are about to happen, as it can be used to foretell good things. However, Du Maurier uses foreshadowing to hint at the bad things about to happen in the story.

Nat’s daughter wonders, “Will it snow, Dad? It’s cold enough” (Du Maurier 317), but Nat answers, “This is a black winter, not a white one” (Du Maurier 317). The use of black in this context points to an impending disaster. In literature, black is associated with misfortunes, while white signifies fortunes. Normally during the winter, snow falls and given that snow is white, it signifies that the winter comes with good things. Unfortunately, Nat points to a black winter; hence, bad things would happen.

At another point, the author notes that the gulls “were circling, hundreds of them, thousands of them, lifting their wings against the wind” (Du Maurier 325). Normally, gulls fly in a coordinated harmony with one bird taking the lead and the rest following to form a streamline in a bid to counter air resistance. However, the gulls in this context are circling, which foreshadows that something wrong is about to happen.

Which is more apocalyptic: the story or the film? Which is more frightening and why? Which is more believable?

The story seems more apocalyptic as compared to the movie. The story gives avid description of scenes and the reader can almost tell what is about to happen. In the story, the author posits, “There are birds in there, dead birds, nearly fifty of them” (Du Maurier 328). The death of birds here symbolizes doom, which is normally associated with apocalypse.

One of the apocalyptic descriptions is what Nat sees through the window. The author posits, “The sky was hard and leaden, and the brown hills that had gleamed in the sun the day before looked dark and bare. Black winter had descended in a single night” (De Maurier 328). These avid descriptions paint clear pictures of an apocalypse in the reader’s mind.

The story is more frightening as compared to the movie. As aforementioned, the descriptions in the story are avid and the reader can figure out the exact occurrences of the events as narrated. On the other side, the movie tones down the frightening occasions by including a complex plot with numerous characters and scenes. In a bid to meet Hollywood’s expectations, the movie director includes love affairs in the plot. As opposed to this aspect, the story’s plot is straight and to the point.

In addition, the story is more believable as compared to the movie. In the story, the author makes it clear that the bad weather is the cause of the birds’ attack, which is convincing. On the other side, in the movie, the director insinuates that Melanie Daniels is the cause of the birds’ attack. Based on this aspect, the movie becomes fictitious as opposed to the story, which appears real and thus believable.

Works Cited

Du Maurier, Daphne. The Birds and other Stories, New York: Little Brown, 2012. Print.

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