Feed on

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

The narrator’s decision to lie turns him 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 needs 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 despite the fact that his admiration of the bird is unintentional, he looks up to it. One of the bird’s symbolic representations is manhood, and the boy, struggling with puberty, sees the bird as an object to be conquered. When the narrator sees the wound of the bird, he lashes out in anger by throwing the first stone. This act represents his anger towards his inevitable manhood and the despair he feels internally.

Leave a Reply