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Suspense in “The Birds” (comparison of the book and the film)

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At times, we don’t understand why things occur. In the story “The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier and The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, all types of birds begin to attack the people for an unknown reason. The short story and the movie each have a different way of presenting the main idea and creating suspense. Throughout the film and short story, we see how the citizen’s cope with the bird attacks and what happens to the birds. In my opinion, I thought that the movie was more suspenseful then the short story for multiple reasons.

One important reason that I thought the movie was more suspenseful then the short story was that in the movie you could actually see what was going on. It was easier for me to understand what was happening because I could actually see it. In the story, I had to try and imagine what the characters looked like, how they acted, and what they were doing in certain scenes. Also, seeing The Birds on screen helped create suspense. For example, broken tea cups were hanging on their hooks. This sets the mood that something bad happened or is about to occur. Moments later, we discover that Mitch’s mother’s father was attacked and killed by the birds. Another aspect of suspense that is in the movie is the change in music. The music becomes slow and spooky when an important event is going to happen. An example of this is when Melanie is walking up the stairs in the middle of the night and then gets attacked by birds in Cathy’s bedroom. My emotions changed more dramatically in watching the movie then in reading the short story because of the suspense that was evident in the movie.

A major difference between the short story and the film is the setting. In “The Birds”, birds are attacking people all over the world. However, in The Birds the setting is only in one city. Having the birds in only one city attacking the people creates suspense because it makes the audience wonder why the birds are only in that one city and nowhere else. Also, in the short story, the army steps in to try and help fight off the birds. This does not occur in the movie. In the movie, the characters have to fend for themselves and this creates suspense since they have to help themselves without any assistance.

Finally, the ending between the short story and the movie is different. In the movie, the audience never really knows what happens to the characters. Although this is also true in the short story, how it is presented is rather different. The short story concludes with the characters getting more supplies from the Trigg’s. However, the movie is more suspenseful at the end because you see the characters driving away from the birds. Noticing how many birds there are makes the audience wonder what the birds will eventually do. The movie leaves the audience with an unending terror.

The film and short story are completely different and each create suspense in different ways. The movie was more suspenseful for me than the short story. Being able to see exactly what was going on and hearing everything that the characters did helped to make the movie more realistic. I was able to put myself into the characters and see things from there point of view in the movie. Also, the difference in setting and having to think about what might have happened to the characters provided suspense that made me want to see what was going to happen next. In conclusion, I found the movie to be more suspenseful then the short story.

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