What images are found in the "The Image of the Lost Soul" by Saki?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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There are two main images found in Saki's "The Image of the Lost Soul": the little bird and the Lost Soul. Both images represent the idea of the solitary, exiled, and embraced. The little bird is shunned from all of the best nesting places and is forced to nest next to the "Lost Soul." The Lost Soul, different from all of the other carved figures, is "shunned" by the other more widely accepted carvings (like the angels, kings, and bishops). Since the Lost Soul was unlike the others (with a face which was "hard and bitter and downcast"), many regarded it as a demon. 

Since the only place the little bird could roost was next to the Lost Soul, both came to know each other very well. The bird came to depend upon the Lost Soul for protection, and the Lost Soul came to depend upon the bird for companionship. Through the images of the Lost Soul and bird, readers are able to construct mental pictures of each, taking care of one another (at least until the bird dies). Upon the death of the bird, the meaning behind it changes. The bird transforms from a single identity to one paired with the Lost Soul (since the Lost Soul crumbles to dust with the death of the bird). 

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