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The Birds Analysis

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by

William Kang

on 14 October 2014

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Transcript of The Birds Analysis

Character Comparison
Setting Analysis
The setting of the movie and the setting of the book greatly differs. For one, the setting of the book is described as in England. It is not very specific. However, in the movie, the setting is specifically said to be San Francisco, and later on, a small town called Bodega Bay. The setting does matter in the book, but it doesn't really matter in the movie. It matters in the book due to the fact that Nat's wife, later on in discussion, asks Nat, “Won’t America do something? They’ve always been our allies, haven’t they? Surely America will do something.” However, in the movie, the setting isn't really described at all. Setting can make a difference- the movie was more "gray and gloomy," so it had more of an impact on viewers.
Plot Summary
The plot of the book and the movie differ greatly, but they both follow a similar storyline. One major variance between the two is that Mich and Melanie are not married. In the movie, Melanie needs to meet Mitch in the bird store, but in the story, Nat is on the farm, married. There is also the difference that when Kathy, the girl in the movie, is picked up, she is attacked, unlike Jill in the book, who is relatively unharmed at school. The book did not include much about any character other than Nat, whereas the movie touched upon all of the characters. However, in the end, the birds become a real threat to everybody, and the antagonist is the same in both works. The ending was a major difference also- the movie's ending was much more positive than the book's. The radio was still functioning, and the family managed to escape.
Characters
The Birds
The first edition of “The Birds” was published in 1952, a short story written by Daphne du Maurier. Shortly after, in 1963, movie producer Alfred Hitchcock filmed the horror movie The Birds, based off of Maurier’s story. Both works are generally about one of man’s companions, the birds, turning against humans and attacking them. The birds’ attacks lead to mass destruction and the brutal slaughter of many humans. The main protagonist of both stories is trying to escape the bird apocalypse with their families. The birds show how when nature turns on humans, they are helpless.
Conclusion
Daphne du Maurier’s and Alfred Hitchcock’s productions are extremely similar. However, they also have many differences- obvious and subtle, in all aspects. Whether it is inscribed onto a VCR or printed neatly on paper bound by leather, The Birds will always be a work of art.
Lydia (Mrs. Brennan)
Lydia is extremely similar to Nat's wife. Not only does she bring out the strong side of Melanie like Nat's wife does to Nat, but she is also a protagonist who was weak but turned stronger. She acts like a child, weak, innocent, and scared. They both are housewives, and are scared of being abandoned. Lydia shows the weak side of women in the movie.
The Birds Analysis
By Amanda Kang and William Kang
Though the movie is based off of the book, there are many differences in characters- the protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters.
These differences affect the plot greatly, and change the viewer's perception of certain events.
The Book
The Film
Nat Hocken
Nat's Wife
Mitch Brennan
Melanie Daniels
Melanie is interesting, for sure. Not only is she more independent than Nat's wife, but she is not as afraid. While Nat's wife hid behind Nat, Melanie tried to take matters into her own hands. Though this is a good trait in general, she was harmed, physically and mentally. Melanie is also prideful and haughty, with great dignity. She tries to always have a composed appearance. Also, Melanie is the main character, whereas Nat's wife is rarely touched upon. Melanie has a prideful air, and she is rich, seen by her fancy car and her fancy coat.
The book has many similarities to the movie. However, they have their differences. For one, the book takes place in England, and also, the characters are very different, each with varying characteristics that define them. Even the protagonist in the book is different from the one in the movie! The two main characters in the book are Nat Hocken, and his wife.
The film is similar to the book, but there are many differences as well. The film does not take place in England, but rather in America. Furthermore, but the characters are different as well, and they also have different roles. A few characters were added, and their characteristics changed as well.
Nat Hocken is the main protagonist of The Birds, in the story. In the story, he plays the role of the "responsible adult." Not only is he the father of two children, Jill and Johnny, but he seems much older than his wife. This is due to the fact that Nat Hocken is calm and composed during the apocalypse, whereas Nat's wife is afraid and scared. He is the one who not only puts survival first, but tries to put his plans in action. He is the one who boarded up the windows to protect the family. In the movie, Mitch assumes a similar role to Nat.
Nat's wife is a grown lady. However, she does not act calmly, like Nat did. She is riled up, and afraid. Not only is she afraid of death, she is unwilling to do anything about it. In the beginning, she seems like any other person. However, as the story progresses, it seems as if she is being ridiculed. The image of the average housewife is tainted. Nat's wife most certainly does not act like an equal to men, nor like a woman at all. Rather, she seems more like a child, a baby needing attention and help, just to survive. An example of her fear is this: "I daren’t go into the room to make the beds until you do. I’m scared.”
Mitch can be compared to Nat Hocken in the book. Mitch Brennan is a main character of the movie adaptation of "The Birds." However, rarely is he the main focus. This only occurs a few times, at the end where Mitch is attempting to save Melanie Daniels. He is calm and composed, like Mr. Hocken, and he has many other similar characteristics. He worries for his family, and he tries his best to save them. In the end he does, and they live on. In the movie, Mitch and Melanie are not married.
Nat Hocken is extremely similar to Mitch Brennan. For example, they both play the role of the "man" of the family. They are the sturdy rock that many others lean on. They both protect their families, fortifying the windows, defending their families from the birds, etc. However, one main difference between them are that Nat is the main character for the entire story, where as Mitch is a main character only near the end. Melanie cannot really be compared to Mrs. Hocken, however. This is because whereas Melanie is strong turned weak, Nat's wife is weak turned somewhat stronger. Nat's wife badgered Nat the whole time, while Melanie actually helped. Melanie was the first to actually make an impression on the viewer, whereas Nat's wife was merely a supporting character that "didn't matter."
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