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    I read birdsong at the end of year 12 in preparation for the forthcoming war lit module and now find that whilst I remember the general storyline, I'm struggling to remember much else. Does anyone know of a site where I can get york notes style study guides, or plot summaries, or anything for the book? Any help would be greatly appreciated! x
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    I could never find anything online for it when I was doing my coursework, I know that doesn't help much - sorry!
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    (Original post by rachplatt)
    I read birdsong at the end of year 12 in preparation for the forthcoming war lit module and now find that whilst I remember the general storyline, I'm struggling to remember much else. Does anyone know of a site where I can get york notes style study guides, or plot summaries, or anything for the book? Any help would be greatly appreciated! x
    I am in sort of the same position. Birdsong is the first war novel I read way back in September, and TBH I hardly remember anything much about anything except the basic plot. However some basic ideas : conveys the horrors of front line battles effectively, highly descriptive of trench conditions, the feeling of isolation felt by the soldiers once home. (Stephen’s feelings when he goes on leave to England.), comradeship (Stephen and Weir). In terms of context: Typical of contemporary war lit in that it is anti-war. I don't think I will be making more than a passing reference to Birdsong in the exam TBH.
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    I have skimmed through and found the reference that I needed from Birdsong. But can anybody remember who Horrocks is? Is he the military chaplain? (padre?)
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    The main use of Birdsong, for the A2 literature exam, is the second section which gives an accurate and vivid description of trench warfare and life. This is what you should be focusing on for the exam. Good luck.
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    I absolutely adored this book, i couldn't stop reading it! this is quite strange seeing as it is sad, but since birdsong i've read loads of his other work. Good luck for the exam.
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    don't worry guys, birdsong came up in the Jan module so its unlikely we'll be set it again!
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    But it could be used in part b... I think that's the point.
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    Yeah I was just thinking of a few quotations that link to some themes ive identified. the question relating to the one about Horrocks throwing down his cross. I have lots of refs to poems but I thought I should have some to novels too!
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    Helloo.....i dont know if this is any use to you but....
    My plan is to use BIrdsong as an example of the soldiers and their reliance on the supernatural - as a way to surive.
    I mean, Weir asks Stephen to read his fortune with the cards even though he knows that stephen's making it up- but it makes him feel better!!
    I think Faulks has been able to add this reliance on supernatural forces and fate because he is writing this after the war and therefore is able to research and find that this did happen in the trenches. I dont think this is in any other novels, plays or poems and so it can be seen as an atypical theme maybe??

    Also , In part 1 he makes these carvings which could be likend to voodoo dolls - perhaps symbolic of all those soldiers to die (a strained point!)

    I dont know if any of this helps- but hope it doeS!
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    Helloo.....i dont know if this is any use to you but....
    My plan is to use BIrdsong as an example of the soldiers and their reliance on the supernatural - as a way to surive.
    I mean, Weir asks Stephen to read his fortune with the cards even though he knows that stephen's making it up- but it makes him feel better!!
    I think Faulks has been able to add this reliance on supernatural forces and fate because he is writing this after the war and therefore is able to research and find that this did happen in the trenches. I dont think this is in any other novels, plays or poems and so it can be seen as an atypical theme maybe??

    Also , In part 1 he makes these carvings which could be likend to voodoo dolls - perhaps symbolic of all those soldiers to die (a strained point!)

    I dont know if any of this helps- but hope it doeS!
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    Just before we broke up we did quite a lot of work on Birdsong, bcause our teacher used to mark papers, and said she was sick of people using it 4 no reason, so I'll tell you some of the things she said....
    1. Birdsong is a novel about contrasts, ie, war&love death&birth silence&noise peace&destruction etc. She said to always look for these in the novel. (Remember that in the novel Stephen stops speaking after the war, and that old bloke in the home doesn'y speak v much hence the silenc ref and that despite being a novel about death and destruction it ends in a birth, called Jack.)
    2. Birdsong should be used in more interestin references, like your supernatural one, or when trying to display the horror modern audiences find when looking at the war. (Think when Elizabeth goes on her journey and cannot believe the monument is for the lost in that field alone "My god. Nobody told me" etc.)
    3. Think about why Birdsong appeals today, variety of times ie pre post and during war. Also the use of a female main character (Elizabeth) allows the success of Birdsong to be conveyed etc.
    4. Remeber that Birdsong is the most qouted piece, therefore try not to use it unless you have a good unique point, not just someone dies, shellfire gassing trench life etc.
    Also she reckoned on a passage appearing, where Elizabeth walks towards the huge monument, so if it does mention the sense of a literal journey within each paragraph.
    Hope that helps, good luck 4 wednesday everyone!!!
 
 
 
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