The Bird King Themes & Motifs

G. Willow Wilson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Bird King.
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Ownership of the Self

Through Fatima and Hassan's work to escape their entrapping circumstances and create a new life for themselves, the author explores how the individual might claim agency of her body, mind, and fate. Because Fatima is born into slavery in the palace, bound to the sultan and his mother, Fatima has never known a life over which she has control. Similarly Hassan's role as cartographer ties him to his masters' desires and eliminates his freedom. When the two decide to leave the palace to save their lives, they realize the profound difficulty of seizing ownership of each their identities. Throughout the novel, the friends' work to create a life and sense of self outside those their previous realities dictated often proves close to impossible. However, as Fatima and Hassan's environs shift over the course of their ventures, their true selves, their veritable desires surface...

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This section contains 1,913 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Bird King Study Guide
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