The Painted Bird Essay

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Perkins is an associate professor of English at Prince George's Community College in Maryland and has published several articles on British and American authors. In the following essay, she examines the theme of survival in Kosinski's novel.

In The Painted Bird Jerzy Kosinski creates a dominant metaphor that reflects an unnamed young boy's harrowing experiences in an Eastern European country during World War II. Norman Lavers in an article on Jerzy Kosinski notes that when the boy's parents send him to live in a remote village while they go into hiding, his dark hair, eyes, and complexion make him "immediately, visibly different, arousing suspicion and fear. The lesson of being the odd man out, of the danger of being noticeable, is brought home to him over and over again." Kosinski symbolizes this lesson in one of the novel's episodes when the boy observes a cruel ritual practiced by...

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This section contains 2,163 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Painted Bird Study Guide
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The Painted Bird from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.