In "The Birds," how do the BBC radio announcements create suspense as the story progresses?

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At first, Nat and his wife derive some comfort from the announcements over the wireless, as these announcements inform him and his wife about what is going on. The wireless broadcasts also provide some relief that perhaps the authorities will take care of the problem of the birds, and the calmness of the announcer's voice quiets Nat's fear to some extent. The author writes about the radio announcer, "Nat had the impression that this man, in particular, treated the whole business as he would an elaborate joke." The announcer at first seems to regard the birds as a silly nuisance rather than as a serious problem.

Nat relies on the wireless to give him directions about what to do, and the broadcasts steady his nerves. However, the wireless announcer then says that there will be no more broadcasts at night, and although Nat eagerly awaits the promised 7 a.m. broadcast, the wireless does not receive any service in the morning. His radio can only receive foreign broadcasts, as the BBC is making no broadcasts. There is literally radio silence coming from London, which adds to the suspense of the story because it suggests that London has been decimated by birds.

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The BBC radio announcements create suspense because they decrease in frequency over the course of the story. The day after the birds first attack, for example, the BBC airs an announcement from the Home Office which informs people how to protect themselves. This reassures people like Nat and creates a sense of national unity. A further announcement is made later in the day which, again, makes people feel as though the government is being pro-active and trying to help.

Suddenly, however, the radio announcements cease without any warning. This is suggestive of two things: firstly, that something major has happened in London, the capital city, and, secondly, that the government is unable to provide an effective solution against the birds. As Du Maurier never reveals why the radio announcements stop, the reader is left in a state of uncertainty and this is very effective in creating suspense.

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