Tea with the birds
The human being is a social creature with an essential need to socialize, but in our modern society many people feel that they are isolated and lonely in a world surrounded by people. The people of modern society are prejudice and judgmental towards the ‘unknown’ person, and we will rather observe and assume things about each other than getting to know one another. This is also the case for the main character and her neighbors in Joanne Harris novel ‘Tea with the birds’ from 2001. The narrator lives in a flat in Mortimer Street. The narrator describes Mortimer Street as being “busy without being comfortable; crowded without being friendly”.Mortimer street has a sense of coldness around it, and no-one really knows their neighbors even though they “live like birds in cages”. The coldness suits the narrator, because she enjoys the solitude, privacy and silence of her own flat. This has aroused her neighbors’ curiosity and suspicious towards her, because as she describes “I’m a completely different race from my neighbors” . Both the narrator and her neighbors consider her as an outsider, but this does not bother the narrator. Her neighbors consider her as being snobby cause of her reluctance to speak with them. Therefore her neighbors observe her and presume, she is a student nurse and she doesn’t bother to correct them. Mortimer Street is a reflection on the narrators own personality. She is very introverted and doesn’t have an interest in getting to know her neighbors. The narrator lives her lonely life, until the day when Mr. Juzo Tamaoki moves in the apartment opposite to hers. “Another foreigner said the Mortimer Street grapevine, with barely concealed disapproval”. This once again shows Mortimer Streets residents’ insecurity towards anyone different from them self. When the narrator and Mr. Tamaoki meet, his expression reminds her of a bird, she once saw in a zoo and still sees every...
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