Symbols And Signs

“The boy, aged six—that was when he drew wonderful birds with human hands and feet, and suffered from insomnia like a grown-up man.”
“She thought of the recurrent waves of pain that for some reason or other she and her husband had had to endure; of the in visible giants hurting her boy in some unimaginable fashion; of the incalculable amount of tenderness contained in the world; of the fate of this tenderness, which is either crushed or wasted, or transformed into madness; of neglected children humming to themselves in unswept corners; of beautiful weeds that cannot hide from the farmer.”
“That Friday, their son’s birthday, everything went wrong.”
“a tiny unfledged bird was helplessly twitching in a puddle.”
“she felt the mounting pressure of tears.”
“a girl with dark hair and grubby red toenails—was weeping on the shoulder of an older woman.”
“Desires he had none.”
“to tear a hole in his world and escape.”
“He excludes real people from the conspiracy, because he considers himself to be so much more intelligent than other men.”
“a mask-like grimace”
“I can’t sleep because I am dying,”
“To the devil with doctors! We must get him out of there quick. Otherwise, we’ll be responsible…. Responsible!” “keep all the knives in a locked drawer.” “he presented no danger to other people”

The bird imagery is showing that the son was trapped and he was trying to escape, though he could not. This is shown because all of the bird imagery is not that they are free and flying, but instead, they are trapped. And there is a theme of death which can be seen with the imagery of mourning, like people crying on other’s shoulders, and people wearing black constantly.

The story is about a little boy, “a tiny unfledged bird” who is suffering from Insomnia, along with many other mental issues. He often tried “to tear a hole in his world and escape” from his problems by taking his life. He has failed and was caged like a bird. He kept his thoughts to himself because he believed that if anyone else was to know, they would assume he was mentally deranged. He wore “a mask-like grimace” which brought acted as a barrier between him and the world around him. “He excludes real people from the conspiracy, because he considers himself to be so much more intelligent than other men.” Even his parents were unable to relate with him, which is evident when they were talking about his lack of desires, as they were trying to decide what to get him for his birthday. This reveals his “locked away from the world” personality because usually one’s parents would at least know something about him. We came to the conclusion that he is dead because it was as though he had no connections to the world or his parents anymore, which would signify that he is no longer alive, and his parents are feeling what he went through when he was alive, a spiritual connection that connects to them, while in death.


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