The Birds, Who Are They?

At first when I was watching The Birds, the only question that really stood strong in my mind was “why?”. Why are the birds attacking the people? Are they hungry? Did we destroy their habitat (Which doesn’t seem likely in this case because this town was fine for years)? These questions were flying at me just as fast as the birds were in the film, but eventually as the class discussion became more and more heated and Mulvey’s work was brought in to help us, our understanding of the birds change. Instead of asking why the birds are attacking, we have to ask who or what are the birds are supposed to represent. I initially thought that the birds represented the mother and her closeness to her son, and the birds were in some way connected to her. Now this all seems a little crazy after the fact because the actual answer doesn’t have to include science fiction rules. From what I’m seeing the birds represent us as society, in the way that they gaze at the characters below, as if what they are doing is against our ideological standards and we must put them in there place. Kind of messed up considering we’re supposed to root for the people.

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