The Painted Bird Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Painted Bird.
This section contains 860 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Coming of Age

The main focus of this semi-autobiographical novel is the tracing of the main character's coming of age in an Eastern European country during World War II. After the war begins and he is separated from his parents, he spends the remainder of the book trying to survive the brutal conditions he faces in various villages in which he lives. During this journey, he learns important lessons about himself and human nature in general.

Change and Transformation

As Kosinski unfolds this coming-of-age process, he reveals the changes and transformations the boy experiences. The biggest change occurs when the boy is wrenched from his parents and his comfortable life in a large city before the war and forced to live, as do many of the villagers, with deprivation and the constant threat of death. The boy also experiences internal transformations as he discovers necessary survival skills.

Alienation and Loneliness

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This section contains 860 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Painted Bird Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Painted Bird from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.