The Birds Essay

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Perkins teaches American literature and film and has published several essays on American and British authors. In the following essay, Perkins compares du Maurier's short story "The Birds" with Alfred Hitchcock's film version.

In 1963, Universal Pictures released Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds to public and critical acclaim. Evan Hunter's screenplay loosely adapted Daphne du Maurier's short story, transplanting the location from the Cornish coast of England to the seaside town of Bodega Bay and changing a major thematic direction. In du Maurier's tale, the bird attacks and the characters' responses to them emerge as a political statement on the paranoid atmosphere that existed in Europe and America during the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s. Hitchcock's version discarded this topical theme and opted instead for a portrait of the main character's psychosexual power struggle, heightened and redirected by the bird attacks. Both story and film, however, offer gripping...

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This section contains 1,797 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Birds Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Birds from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.