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Birdy - Psychological aspects of characters

Uploaded by goglarz on Oct 29, 2001

"Only if we look deeply into ourselves can we discover who we really are”.
(Erich Fromm)

Birdy” at first may seem to be a book characterized by its shallowness and simplicity, nevertheless it is within a plain plot and structure that the real values are hidden. Wharton’s story gives us the insight into human qualities which are subjected to only one objective: life itself. The book carries the reader into a completely different reality showing how a boy creates and lives in his own world. Psychological portrait of Birdy, which the author presented, has a symbolic meaning. Most importantly, it shows that the capacity to perceive lies within the individual.

One of the psychological aspects that Wharton profoundly deals with is the outline of two different characters: Al and Birdy. Those characters represent diverse qualities, nevertheless they seem to overlap to a certain extent. Al has a very rational view of life. His realistic approach enables him to step firmly through life, catch every opportunity of it. However, when he meets Birdy, he realizes that it wasn’t true at all, and all that time he was simply walking with his eyes half-opened. Realism is what Birdy’s philosophy of life is lacking, therefore that is why their characters seem to complement one another. A lasting relationship is created, on the basis of which the reader has the opportunity to observe what psychological changes they undergo.

Al wants to show Birdy the world that he has not discovered yet. On the other hand, Birdy tries to unveil the beauty of different reality that he himself becomes fascinated with.

Each of us has a nature of its own, unique and exceptional. Wharton stresses it throughout the story. He skilfully crafts a psychologically intricate character – Birdy, who sees the world in different colours and shades. He explores the world through a completely different reality. Al’s friendship on the one hand gives him a closer insight into the real world, on the other one intensifies his obsession. What actually Wharton shows is how far can it really go. Birdy doesn’t have control over his thoughts, he seems to be helpless. It is his desires that dictate all his actions. They become a source for his eccentric behaviour. Passion to birds is so overwhelming that Birdy becomes unaware of the very facts of the real life. The real world is a maze where he hopelessly seeks for...

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Uploaded by:   goglarz

Date:   10/29/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,462 words)

Views:   1121

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