In the story "The Birds," how would you describe the narrator of the story and his family?

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Nate Hocken is not the narrator of this story. The story is told using third-person narration, from Nate Hocken's point of view.

I would describe Nate Hocken as an older retired man who works part-time on a farm, doing odd jobs, mostly on his own. He has what I would consider a relatively normal household, with a wife and two children. The wife stays home and takes care of the home and the youngest child, Johnny, who is still a baby. The daughter, Jill, also young, is old enough to go to school.

I think they are a practical family; they look at the problem with the birds and make a plan to deal with it. I don't think they are giving up; many seem to believe the end of the story shows him waiting to die, but previously it discussed his plan for what he was going to do later in the evening when the attack of the birds subsided. The fact that he "smoked his last cigarette" means that he forgot to get more while he was at the farm. So, I don't see this family as submitting to the hands of fate. They have a plan and intend to try and tough it out.

Nate has a military background and is a stoic, practical personality. Although he received an injury in the war, he doesn't seem to let that stop him from working and caring for his family. His family looks up to him and depends on him. His wife has a strong, mothering personality, protecting the kids and sheltering them from the ugliest aspects of the situation. The children are ordinary, innocent children. Even though Nate fears the worst and the outlook is bleak, with no voice on the radio and no sign of any government response to the crisis, I do not get the impression that this little family intends to go down without a fight. If Nate had switched off the wireless at the end of the story, that would have indicated loss of hope, but he switches it on. Smoking the cigarette is merely his way of bracing himself while preparing mentally for the rest of the evening. I would describe Nate and his family as survivors.

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