What does the author want to suggest about the in the end of her short novel The Birds?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Feeding into much of the fearful atmosphere of the world stage after World War II, the story's conclusion brings to light the belief that the birds will overcome civilization.  The bird attacks have swept the nation, and have rendered human beings as almost defenseless to stop them.  In this light, the context in which du Maurier is writing is extremely meaningful.  In a setting where the fear of nuclear holocaust was real, along with the fear of "the other," in the form of Communism, the end of the world feel of the story is brought to light.  While human advancement has reached its zenith, at its heart, the ending of the story is one of survival, where human beings can only fend for themselves against adversarial forces that overwhelm the individual.  The ending of the story where Nat and his family hear the "tearing sound of splintering wood" indicates that the birds have won in overwhelming the humans.  All the family can do is sit and listen to what will bring about their own end, just as other families like the Triggs.

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