Submit Your
Comedy
List
The deadline for the Top Comedies of All Time list is coming up! Submit your ballot now, or read about it here

The Birds meaning

Tools    





I am writing an essay for one of my film classes on creature features. My essay includes in it what the Birds in hitchcocks the birds represent in american culture/society of the time. Since Hitchcock himself has claimed they had no meaning I was wondering what everyone here thinks.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
They obviously mean something which Humankind cannot control to any particular extent. You can accept it in multiple ways. Perhaps the Birds are just physically reacting to something humans did to poison their environment and somehow turn them evil or more violent, almost in a humanistic form of violence with almost no rhyme or reason. Then again, maybe the Birds are taking things "very personal" and just cannot take any more bird hunting seasons or Thanksgiving dinners. In this case, the Birds are reacting "emotionally" and in self-defense. The Birds could also just be used as a sign of the End Times. If you believe in something resembling an Apocalypse, then the Birds could be God's (or Nature's, if you prefer) way to bring about the end of the Human Era. It happened to dinosaurs, so it can certainly happen to Man.

When Hitchcock says that they had no meaning, he means that the "'play's' [film's] the thing", so what we have here are basically "monster birds". Something which we just take for granted suddenly becomes our worst enemy. Same thing with Jaws, except that Jaws brings some closure. The ending of The Birds is obviously open and can be interpreted more than one way. Maybe the Birds are just playing it cool and having a small quiet before the next storm. Or maybe, as the sun rises at the end of the movie, the Birds have mysteriously gone back to being more-pacifistic and it really is the dawning of a new day. You have to decide if that Dawn represents a "brighter day" and the reemergence of Man as superior or if it's the Dawning of a new cock on the block, the Birds.

As far as to how The Birds specifically relates to the era in which it was made, that was the era of the Cold War which also held with it the promise of a nuclear armageddon. I don't really see anything in The Birds which signifies that it's really a Cold War/Nuclear Parable, but I wouldn't be surprised if others did or if I did if I thought about it a bit more.
__________________
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page



Maybe you could read the BFI Film Classics book written by Camille Paglia where she gives an in depth look at The Birds and what it's all about:

http://www.amazon.com/Birds-BFI-Film...9316635&sr=8-1



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Having read your link there, Sexy, I suppose that The Birds could be a sexual treatise, but I generally accept every Hitchcock film as ultimately being about sex. so I'm not sure that I got that much from those mini-reviews of the book. I may have to check out the book now myself, but for the time being, I can live with my mundanely-literal interpretation.



The birds attacking humans always felt like it was something natural but unexplained simple I know and it's defaintly not formly discussed because Hitchcock always used everyday characters in extreme circumstances in his films. There's a lot of dialogue about the birds attacks which is all naive such as the diner scene were tippi is blamed for the recent event because they start when she got there. One thing I can't remember is were the attacks only consintrated to were tippi was or were they world wide. This would also indicated something rather supernatural if it was only were tippi went though like I said I can't remember if the film discussed an events that are happening in other cities and other countries I just can't remember that.



Now I'm not advocating this as something I completely agree with, but I think he has a point. Plus Zizek's histrionics are always entertaining so . . . enjoy.



It starts at about a minute into the clip. Whether you agree with his theory on what the birds symbolise or not, it'll make for a good reference either way.



The book is more a Cold War parable.
I was always struck by how the birds do only start when Melanie arrives like she's the epitomy of the modern world intruding on the old ways of the little town. Always loved Tippi Hendren's clothes in The Birds (courtesy the great Edith Head of course), that sophisticated tailored suit!



I am writing an essay for one of my film classes on creature features. My essay includes in it what the Birds in hitchcocks the birds represent in american culture/society of the time. Since Hitchcock himself has claimed they had no meaning I was wondering what everyone here thinks.
It meant birds really are the modern relation to dinosaurs--apparently to the "eat anyone" T-Rex.



They do not show any bird attacks happening outside of the Bodega Bay area.
It's been a long, long time since I read the original material on which the film was based (I'm thinking it was a short story or a novella) but I seem to remember in the original, the bird attacks were everywhere, not just one village.



A-well-a, everybody's heard about the bird? Don't you know about the bird? Well everybody knows that the bird is the word?

__________________
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra