What effect does the sound of the clock have in "The Birds"?

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In "The Birds ," the chime of the kitchen clock interrupts the "scratching and tearing" of the birds' attack. That the narrator describes the chime as "homely" suggests that it is a welcome distraction which reminds Nat that his fight against the birds is almost over and that his...

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In "The Birds," the chime of the kitchen clock interrupts the "scratching and tearing" of the birds' attack. That the narrator describes the chime as "homely" suggests that it is a welcome distraction which reminds Nat that his fight against the birds is almost over and that his family remains safe and well amid the violence and chaos outside.

The sound of the clock also acts as a distraction by reminding Nat that the tide will turn soon. This imbues Nat with a sense of purpose and hope: he instructs his wife, for example, to make some tea and cocoa, to prevent the family from sitting around and dwelling on the attack. It allows him, then, to escape the harsh realities of the events outside by focusing on his home and family. 

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