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Rara Avis” by T Coraghessan Boyle uses a lot of symbolism. It is through this symbolism the reader gets a greater understanding of what “Rara Avis” is about. However out of all the lines in the text I find the last line the most powerful sentence. It truly captures  the narrator’s thoughts and  feelings, bring the symbols and events of the story to a singular point of understanding.

I threw the first stone.(109)

This five word sentence conveys so much meaning; not only does this line have a very biblical reference, it is 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.”

In religious ed I was taught the exact rules of what is considered a sin. Yes, it seems silly, as to most a sin is anything that is of wrong doing or braking a commandment. However, a sin is not only doing a wrong deed. A sin is recognizing an action is wrong, yet still choosing to do that deed or not feeling remorse for that action. By throwing the first stone the narrator is the first to condemned himself. He has recognized his masculinity or “self-pollution”(108) as something wrong. The action of throwing the stone is a physical symbol that he is taking his “self-pollution” as a sin that he feels can not be forgiven.


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