"The Birds" Making Meanings Questions
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by Eric Bryan
| 16 Questions
Part I
Directions: Answer the following questions in complete sentences. Think carefully about each question.
1
3 pts
What resolution to the final conflict (end of the story) do you think might be suggested in the final scene by the silent radio and the burning cigarette package? Explain.
2
5 pts
Do you think the scene at the Triggs’ foreshadows what will happen to Nat and his family, or do you think they will survive? In other words, do you read this as a doomsday story (about the end of human life on earth) or as a story in which humans will triumph over nature? Cite details from the text to support your interpretation.
3
6 pts
In this story, the author sometimes seems critical of people and of the way they respond to disaster. Find at least three (3) details that show characters behaving ignorantly or endangering themselves or others. Do you think this is how people really behave? Explain.
4
7 pts
Infer why du Maurier (the author) mentions the stillness/silence so often. What could this symbolize at the beginning? At the end? Explain.
5
3 pts
Discuss how the author’s decision to set the story 300 miles away in a small area of England far from larger and more populated areas adds to its message and/or impact on readers. Explain.
6
2 pts
Nat remembers taking precautions before World War II and thinking they did no good. Why would he do it again this time, now that he's older and has a family, if he knows it doesn’t do much good? (Think: reason for Duck & Cover!)
Part II
Directions: Complete each question below as directed. Use the story as needed. Underline and/or bold your figurative language examples that you add. Take a look at the video below for a quick review.
7
2 pts
PERSONIFICATION:

Read the quote taken from “The Birds” below. Change the given quote in order to incorporate an example of personification into it. Place your answer in the space provided below:

Quote: “It pleased him when he was given a bank to build up, or a gate to mend at the far end of the peninsula, where the sea surrounded the farm land on either side.” (Title page)
8
2 pts
SIMILE:

Below, there is a quote taken from “The Birds.” Re-write the provided quote to make it an example of a simile in the space provided.

Quote: “He took off his bandages, sticky with the birds’ blood, not with his own cuts, and put on fresh plaster.” (88)
9
2 pts
SIMILE:

Below, there is a quote taken from “The Birds.” Re-write the provided quote to make it an example of a simile in the space provided.

Quote: “But no more blackened bodies fell from the chimney.” (90)
10
2 pts
METAPHOR:

Below, there is a quote taken from “The Birds.” Re-write the provided quote to make it an example of a metaphor in the space provided.

Quote: “Nat dropped his hoe. The hoe was useless.” (79)
11
2 pts
METAPHOR:

Below, there is a quote taken from “The Birds.” Re-write the provided quote to make it an example of a metaphor in the space provided.

Quote: “He went to the window for the second time, and now when he opened it there was not one bird upon the sill but half a dozen; they flew straight into his face, attacking him.” (62)
Part III
Directions: Identify the following quotes from “The Birds” as Simile, Metaphor, or Personification by selecting the correct response.
12
2 pts
“…as the slow sea sucked at the shore and then withdrew…” (60)
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
13
2 pts
“The wind seemed to cut him to the bone as he stood there, uncertainly, holding the sack.” (69)
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
14
2 pts
“…and they were blown away from him along the beach, tossed like feathers, spread and scattered, the bodies of the fifty frozen birds.” (69)
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
15
2 pts
“Had the sea been still they (gulls) would have covered the bay like a white cloud head to head, body packed to body.” (70)
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
16
2 pts
“The wind hadn’t dropped, though. He could still hear it, roaring in the chimneys.” (86)
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
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