What do the birds symbolize in "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier?

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In "The Birds," the birds symbolize the uninhibited and unbridled power of nature. This is shown most clearly in their violent and repeated attacks on humans. In one incident, the birds attack Nat Hocken's house in the middle of the night, and Nat is forced to fight them off using a blanket:

He felt the thud of bodies, heard the fluttering of wings, but...

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