How Does Faulks Create an Increasing Sense of Foreboding During Act One?

Topics: World War I, World War II, Future Pages: 2 (689 words) Published: April 15, 2013
How does Faulks create an increasing sense of foreboding during Act One? Faulks conveys an increasingly strong sense of foreboding throughout Part One of Birdsong. Although Faulks makes use of various portentous motifs, the ‘water-gardens’ scene, and ‘cathedral’ scene, are two clear examples of Faulks foreshadowing the turbulence of the future. Notably, prior to the ‘water-gardens’ scene, and ‘cathedral’ scene, as Stephen ‘emptied his pocket of items he no longer needed’, Faulks provides the reader with a glaringly obvious use of foreshadowing. Faulks briefly describes the ‘railway tickets’ and ‘blue leather notebook’, before drawing particular attention to a ‘single, scrupulously sharpened blade’. Stephen’s ownership of this blade is portentous, and Faulks has deliberately drawn our attention to it by use of descriptive detail not used for the tickets and notebook. With him, Stephen has brought destruction. Throughout the water-gardens scene, Faulks makes frequent use of foreboding imagery; foreshadowing a turbulent future; conveying an air of unease and discomfort. Throughout, the ‘afternoon lay dull and heavy on them’, the ‘temperature had increased’ and the ‘static air coagulated, thick and choking’. Faulks’ use of pathetic fallacy conveys a heated atmosphere. This sultry atmosphere not only portrays the sexual tension, and desire, that exists between Stephen and Isabelle, but also the sense of sexual claustrophobia felt throughout France, 1910. In 1914, additionally, the year of the outbreak of World War One, the months of June, July and August were just as stifling. Faulks, having chosen to convey the water-gardens scene as heated, may be referencing the heat of 1914, drawing parallels between the water-gardens, and the fields of World War One. Hauntingly, Faulks talks of the ‘humid, clinging soil’ and ‘the static air coagulat[ing], thick and choking’ – perhaps referencing both the tunnels of World War One, and the use of gas, respectively. Furthermore,...
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