Bird Box Themes & Motifs

Josh Malerman
This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Bird Box.
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Garrison Mentality and Isolation

The garrison mentality, originally coined by literary critic Northrop Frye, describes the sense of claustrophobia and isolation that exists in an army outpost in the wilderness. While Malerman does not consciously participate in Frye's literary tradition, "Bird Box" is an archetypal example of the garrison mentality. Characters who suffer from the garrison mentality fear the oppressive vastness of their habitat. In order to protect themselves, people build walls against this vastness and the danger that it represents. In walling the danger out, they also wall themselves in.

The house on Shillingham Lane is a type of garrison. Instead of an army barracks, the house is a bastion against the oppressive power of the creatures who haunt the world. The housemates lock themselves in, bar the doors, shutter the windows, and leave only out of necessity. Consequently, they suffer from a sense of isolation...

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This section contains 1,620 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bird Box Study Guide
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