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“I lied. “No,” I whispered. And then there was the bird.”

The boys decision to lie turns the narrator away from the things the priest offers him: absolution, forgiveness, and hope. Then the bird appears, the embodiment of strength and vulnerability. The bird appears, quite literally, when the boy needed him most. Without a male figure to look up to the boy has to rely on outside sources to figure out who he wants to be and thus he must look up to the bird. If this bird represents manhood, then the boy, struggling with puberty, sees the bird as an object to be conquered. When the boy sees the wound of the bird, he lashes out in anger by throwing the stone. This act represents his anger towards his inevitable manhood and how he thought there was going to be more of it than this.

 

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