Escaping Life with Birds

In the magnificent short story written by George Saunders the main character, Jeff, ultimately decides to kill himself. “My MobiPak™ whirred. The Darkenfloxx™ flowed. Then came the horror: worse than I’d ever imagined” (page 78). Later on in the story as Jeff is dying of intoxication, he is describing an actual escape. I believe George Saunders did this to appeal to the reader and not share the gory details of the pain Jeff is feeling. The reason why I find this so interesting is because Saunders has been extremely descriptive leading up to the main characters death. Saunders also included the description of birds as a way for the reader to believe Jeff had redeemed himself in the end by choosing to sacrifice himself instead of allowing Rachel to die. “From across the woods, as if by common accord, birds left their trees and darted upward. I joined them, flew among them, they did not recognize me as something apart from them, and I was happy so happy, because for the first time in years, and forevermore, I had not killed and never would” (page 81).

One thought on “Escaping Life with Birds

  1. MIIKA F.

    Hi Vivian! Your perception of the end of the story was quite similar to mine. I definitely think Saunder’s wanted to leave us with a story of redemption and hope as opposed to a gruesome death. Really well said.

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