The Feather Thief Setting & Symbolism

Kirk Wallace Johnson
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The Tring Birds

As scientific records collected over decades, the Tring Birds represent a connection between early Victorian-era naturalists and the scientists of the present day. Since their collection, the skins have help to further scientific understanding and collective knowledge while their preservation for future generations will make it possible for them to answer the future questions that today's scientists do not even know to ask. Edwin's theft of the birds fulfills his personal obsessive need to possess beauty as well as his struggle for authenticity thus making them centrally symbolic in the war between knowledge and greed. Kirk Johnson's determination to recover the missing birds after Edwin's trial also makes them symbolic of the pursuit of justice and righteousness.

Victorian-era Salmon Flies

The thirst for the feathers used to create "authentic" Victorian-era salmon flies, which drove Edwin to commit this theft, speaks to the themes of the...

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This section contains 1,400 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Feather Thief Study Guide
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