|Plot Summary of Birdy|
|"“Birdy” is a story of childhood friendship, war, obsession and mental illness. The novel takes place in a suburb of Philadelphia shortly prior to World War II. It is narrated by Al, an all-American Italian boy turned man, who has been best friends with the protagonist, Birdy, since early childhood. Birdy is a genius obsessed with the flight and breeding patterns of canaries. He possesses an uncanny mechanical aptitude, and he directs his intelligence towards realizing his dream of flying. In “Birdy,” Al describes the increasing pull of this obsession on Birdy throughout puberty into adulthood.
Eventually, both boys enlist in the army. They experience a great amount of stress and tragedy spurred by the war. Perhaps it was this pressure that drives Birdy to a permanent state of mental illness. Birdy actually becomes birdlike, refusing to act as a human. Al is called into reason with his childhood friend; he is expected to bring Birdy back to his normal state of mind. Is Birdy mentally ill or is this an elaborate act designed to excuse him from further duty? Will Al be successful in his attempts to reason with Birdy?"
Anna Ellermeyer, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Birdy|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Kind of animal:
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians
- mental illness
- infantry soldier
- mentally ill
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- soggy whimpering jelly muffin
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- healthy but a geeky weakling
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 3 ()
- rotating 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Lot of foul language?
- a lot of flashback and forwards
- a lot of stream of consciousness
- No single main character?
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Click here for more information about this book
William Wharton Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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