How Does Faulks Explore the Character of the Central Protagonist Through the Prime Relationships in 'Birdsong'?

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How does Faulks explore the character of the central protagonist through the prime relationships in 'Birdsong'?

In Birdsong, Faulks represents different relationships with Stephen throughout. Many different relationships portray different experiences of love with each character and Stephen. Within my essay I will explain some of the different relationships with Stephen and how Faulks explores them. The form of Birdsong is a novel, this helps Faulks describe with detail the relationships with Stephen to give the reader a detailed idea of character's opinions on other character's and how they feel. Faulks also mixes the time periods around throughout the novel, this could be to help illustrate the changes in Stephen and his personality over time. The first relationship with Stephen that Faulks tells us about is with Isabelle. Their relationship gradually turns into a sexual love. With this they have to have a secretive relationship, bringing them both excitement which neither of them have had before. Faulks writes “Stephen found that their hurried and clandestine couplings were made more powerful to him by their element of fear” showing that the fact their relationship is a secret is the reason why their relationship is so powerful and passionate. By using alliteration with “clandestine coupling” makes it sound unemotional and less romantic. “The feeling of impalement” is a violent image written to describe a sex scene to suggest that their relationship was very physical and intense. “Impalement” could demonstrate the relation made by Faulks in Birdsong with war and sex as they are very closely linked throughout. Stephen's relationship with Isabelle is later suggested to be perhaps a wrong and selfish decision. Their relationship could symbolise the decisions later made by authority that lead to the first world war. Faulks writes “To mention what they did seemed more shameful then to do it” which could suggest that their relationship was only ever going to be a...
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