The Birds: Comparisions between story and movie

Essay by JoetheDuckHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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Have you ever been attacked by birds? I have. I was at the beach feeding bread

crumbs to the seagulls, when I dropped the bag. The bread crumbs spilled everywhere

and tens of birds swooped down around me. They practically formed a wall of feathers

and flapping sounds. Luckily though, those birds weren't trying to peck my eyes out and

kill me. That is exactly what happens in both the short story and the movie, both titled

The Birds. Both of them are quite similar, in the aspect of birds attacking people and

living near water. There are many differences though, ranging from the characters

connections to one another and reasoning for the birds attacks.

There are some similarities between Hitchcock's film and Daphne du Maurier's

story. The main similarity between the two is probably quite obvious. No, I'm not talking

about how birds in both stories entered the house through the chimney.¹

I am speaking

of the fact that in both of the movies there were birds, and they attacked people. They

were even the same kind of birds, the smaller ones you are prone to seeing in your yard

and seagulls. The fact that the birds were similar could have something to do with the

similar settings of the two stories. In both, it is set rather far from a large city and also

near water."

The connections between the characters in Hitchcock's film were quite different

than the ones in du Maurier's story. In du Maurier's story they are quite simple. Nat

Hocken is married and has two children, and there is a farm down the roads where

people they are friends with live. Viola! It is rather easy to understand, as apposed the

relationships in Hitchcock's film. The film's relationships are filled with complex love

triangles, no, they are more like love polygons. There is Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor)

¹ If you thought this was the most obvious thing, you're an idiot.

" More on water later.

And the multiple women that all want to be with him, although for different reasons.

Lydia Brenner (Jessica Tandy), Mitch's mother, is afraid to be abandoned by Mitch as

she was when her husband died. Cathy Brenner (Veronica Cartwright) loves and looks

up to her older brother and wants to spend time with him. Then, there is the rather

typical Hollywood plotline consisting of the exgirlfriend, Annie Hayworth (Suzanne

Pleshette), and the new girlfriend, Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), both wanting the

leading male because of romantic interest.

Another rather major difference between the two stories is the reason for the

attacks the birds made. It was made pretty clear in the short story that it was the tides

(which were cause by the unusual wind) that caused the birds to attack. I found that a

bit unbelievable. I have see ocean tides cause many a strange thing, this includes the

devastation of sand castles and all those inside them," as well as willing people to speak

using surfing lingo. Through out al of these strange occurrences, I can say that I have

never seen the ocean's waves cause birds to go nuts and attack people. Perhaps, this

is the reason Hitchcock decided to let you figure out the reason the birds attacked on

your own. So that if you don't like the reason the birds are attacking, it's your own fault.

Also, seeing as how the setting for this story is Bodega Bay the reasoning couldn't have

included ocean waves for a few reasons. It is a bay not an ocean. Also bays don't get

waves; well not waves important enough to excite bird attacks!

So, as you very well know, there are many a difference between the two versions

of The Birds, but luckily the both had the same premise to them. This is a very good

thing because few other normally nonthreatening animals can evoke such fear as birds.

Think about it, if Hitchcock's movie was called The Rabbits no one would have been

afraid. Although Monty Python may prove me wrong. In conclusion, there are also

many other differences and similarities between the two stories, and I will get into them

later if I am forced to write a follow-up paper.

" These sand people whom we should mourn