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“This is the way it’s done,” and she fisted her other hand around the sparrow’s head and she twisted. (113)

There are two passages in Butler’s “Mr. Green” in which there is a change of events that cause the narrator, a young girl who battles with her role as woman, to view the world differently. The passage above is a turning point in the plot where the narrator does not expect her mother to kill a sparrow, much less, a sparrow from the bunch she and her grandfather have just recently bought, in such a brutal way. The narrator witnesses death for the first time, and as a result, she no longer feels excitement when going into Ham Nghi to see┬áthe birds with her grandfather. The narrator admires her mother greatly, so when she sees her mother kill the sparrow, she relates the act of killing to her mother, and to her role as a woman.

But I [must] have decided that it was all part of growing up, of becoming a woman like my mother, for it was she who killed them, after all. (114)

The climax of the story is when the narrator herself kills Mr. Green.

But a Vietnamese woman is experienced in these things and Mr. Green did not have a chance even to make a sound as I laid him on his side, pinned him with my knee, slid my hands up and wrung his neck. (116)

The narrator believes that the soul of her grandfather lives in Mr. Green, and by killing the parrot, she feels as though she has set her grandfather’s spirit free. She sees her act of killing the parrot as noble, and instead of thinking of death as a brutal way of exiting the world, much like the way she thinks of her mother killing the sparrow, she takes responsibility for killing of Mr. Green, and takes pride in that being her job as a woman.

There were women around Jesus when He died, the two Mary’s. The couldn’t do anything for Him. But neither could the men, who had all run away. (117)

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