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Rara Avis” by T Coraghessan Boyle has a lot of symbolism as the majority of the story focuses on the narrator’s fascination with a white bird. However out of all the lines in the text I find the last line the most powerful sentence. It’s a great summary of the narrator’s thoughts, feelings, and brings the story to a singular point of understanding.

I threw the first stone.

This five word sentence conveys so much meaning on how the narrator feels. Not only does this line have a very biblical reference, it’s the narrator’s direct response to John 8:7 “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” By throwing the first stone the boy is the first to condemned himself.

In a way the narrator sees the bird as the representation of himself, lost, hurt, and unable to move from the situation he is in. As the narrator and those around him throw the stones at the bird, he becomes the bird in his mind, which is the same as him hurting himself and braking away from the community. This action becomes a physical way for him to perceive what sex is to him, and a way to mentally punish himself.

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