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Transcript of The Phoenix
About the Story
Four Main Element
The phoenix is a symbol of immortality.
Lord Strawberry had the largest and most comfortable aviary in the world. He collected living birds of every kind. He went Arabia and brought the Phoenix to England. After Lord strawberry died, his aviary was sold to Mr. Poldero.However, the Phoenix didn’t do anything. He decided, by various means, to make the phoenix grow old so that it would create a pyre, go up in flames and be reborn. He invited visitors and the movie people to come to view the grand event. The phoenix gathered his pyre, then exploded into flames killing all the spectators, the movie people and Mr. Poldero.
The nobleman Lord Strawberry has the Phoenix. When Lord Strawberry dies Mr. Poldero comes into the ownership of the phoenix.Mr. Poldero adds the phoenix to his "Poldero's Wizard Wonderland." The bird makes him great profits, until the crowds begin to lose interest.Mr. Poldero then decides to go on a new profit-seeking venture.He begins to age the phoenix unnaturally. When the Phoenix is about to die Mr. Poldero invites the media, movie producers etc. At that moment, the Phoenix and the pyre bursts into flames. Everything burns to ashes, and some thousand of people, including Mr. Poldero,
perish in the blaze
Place: The aviary of Lord Strawberry and Poldero's Wizard Wonderland in England.
There are two conflicts occurring in The Phoenix. One conflict is
Man versus Self.
Poldero has a greed for profit and goes to extremes to gain profits when the phoenix stops bringing him such. This leads into the second conflict,
Man versus Nature.
To gain profits from the phoenix, he tries various ways to age the phoenix unnaturally, hence messing with the natural order of things.
Irony: The crowds that flocked to view the phoenix, unnaturally aged for the profit of Poldero, go in hopes of seeing the grand death of the phoenix, but instead, they are the ones to die.
The phoenix bursts into flames at the end of its life, only to rise up from its ashes
It appears in both Egyptian and Greek mythology.
Sylvia Townsend Warner
Sylvia Townsend Warner was a highly individual writer of novels, short stories and poems. She contributed short stories to the New Yorker for more than forty years. She was born in 1893. Educated at home she worked in a munitions factory during the First World War.
Lord Strawberry is wealthy, cultivated, interested in his fine aviary and its occupants. He keeps the bird in his aviary and takes excellent care of it.
He is a bird-loving noblemen who collected a variety of birds in his aviary. The one bird he does not have in his aviary is the Phoenix. Once he acquires this rare, legendary bird, he dies soon after, and his aviary is sold to the public, including the phoenix.
Mr. Poldero is uncultivated, the proprietor of a public entertainment, Polder's Wizard Wonderworld. He is concerned only with the money the phoenix brings him. In order to recapture interest in it, he mistreats the bird to bring on premature old age, expecting the bird will set fire to itself and be reborn.
He is a greedy, money-minded businessman. He is the owner of "Poldero's Wizard Wonderland," a collection of strange and bizarre sights, to which the phoenix would be a profitable addition.
Greed and the derailing of the natural order of things for profits are the main themes of The Phoenix.
When you think about just material things you burst into flames
(literally or metaphorically )
The flames streamed upwards, leaped out on every side. In a minute or two everything was burned to ashes, and some thousand people, including Mr. Poldero, perished in the blaze.
One day the phoenix began turning over the straw. A woman cried in the crowd. "He's at it!" The lights and the cameras were trained on the cage, and a loud-speaker proclaimed to the audience the rarity of what was about to take place.
The phoenix settled on its pyre and appeared to fall asleep.
At that moment the phoenix and the pyre burst into flames.
Lord Strawberry went himself to Arabia, where, after some months, he found a phoenix, won its confidence, caught it, and brought it home in perfect condition.
When Lord Strawberry died he died penniless. The aviary came on the market. Mr. Poldero bought the aviary. He tried to make the Phoenix age faster.