Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Holly gives the narrator an antique birdcage for Christmas, but she doesn't like what it means one bit. She appreciates "its fantasy" (7.4), but she cannot "bear to see anything in a cage" (7.1), and it doesn't take much digging to figure out why. Holly never wants to feel caged in herself, never wants to feel like she can't just pick and go when the mood strikes her, and the birdcage represents the confinement she fights so hard against. It might be beautiful and momentarily desirable to her, but in the end it still functions as a way to keep whatever's inside it from being free, and this is an idea Holly simply can't get behind.