How does Faulks tell the story on pages 63-78 in Birdsong?

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“How does Faulks tell the story in the middle of part 1, pages 63 – 78”

In the middle of part 1, Faulks tells the story of Stephen’s and Isabelle’s second romantic encounter which takes place in the Azaire household. The chapter opens in the living room where the family are discussing what they have done during the day . The conversation is mundane and dull about shopping and household matters and Azaire is disinterested and pays little attention to his wife.  Isabelle is tense and worried about how she will react when Stephen arrives.  When Stephen joins the family he is controlled and reserved and he doesn’t address Isabelle which makes her think that he regrets what happened or he had “done what he came to do and now the matter was finished for him”. Later on in the evening, Isabelle excuses herself from the gathering saying she doesn’t feel well and this is the beginning of hers and Stephens romantic encounter.

Faulks tells the story through a 3rd person narrative instead of 1st as it lets the reader get a glimpse of each of the characters’ opinions and feelings towards each other or the current situation. It also helps us get an idea of the characters and how different they are on the inside from how they appear on the outside. For example, Isabelle comes across as being very cautious, proper and reserved, but inside she is full of passion and roaring emotion. By putting it in 3rd person, the reader can see this interesting contrast in personality. It also shows us that when they aren’t alone, Stephen and Isabelle are thinking about each other in the same way.

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Faulks tells the story by using a lot of imagery and symbolism. The Red room is where Stephen and Isabelle go to make love. The colour red plays a big part in the book as it symbolises passion and love. In contrast to this, the colour also symbolizes danger and blood, which are both war related words. To relate back to Isabelle’s changing personality, she always wears a plain, cream dress which symbolizes her simpleness and innocence, but her burning passion and emotions are showed to us by her red underskirt she always wears.  

The red room ...

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