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Images of Birds as Symbols of Character Traits and Struggles

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  • Essay length: 1609 words
  • Submitted: 28/01/2010
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International Baccalaureate World Literature

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Images of Birds as Symbols of Character Traits and Struggles

In addition to their importance in dreams, birds are significant to literature in a myriad of ways. As a common symbol in dreams, they sometimes appear soaring high in the sky, sometimes trapped in a cage. Birds in flight symbolize liberation, while caged birds represent suffering and the strong desire for freedom. The literary material gathered through examining bird imagery in the novels Dom Casmurro and Chronicle of a Death Foretold is critical in strengthening the reader's understanding of characters' inner struggles. Throughout this paper I will compare how the authors Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis and Gabriel García Márquez use different images of birds to unveil the characters' aspirations for freedom, embody their struggles to break free from encagement and identify important character traits.

García Márquez and Machado de Assis both use extensive bird imagery to portray certain traits in their characters, and Bayardo San Román is no exception. An aristocrat like him is commonly associated with predatory birds such as falcons and hawks due to their aggressive hunting tendencies. In this sense, Bayardo San Román is very much like a falcon hot in pursuit

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