Study Guide

Sir Felix Finch in Cloud Atlas

By David Mitchell

Sir Felix Finch

Fly Away, Little Birdie

In Cloud Atlas, people with bird names are jerks. Adam Ewing has Dr. Goose. Frobisher mentions a Dr. Egret, "a quack whom I didn't half-suspect of plotting to do me in as expensively as he could contrive" (10.1.2). Luisa has a Fran Peacock, but she's the exception, having the guts to print Luisa's expose. Cavendish tells us of Felix Finch, the literary critic who calls Knuckle Sandwich "four hundred vainglorious pages [that] expire in an ending flat and inane quite beyond belief" (4.1.28). Yikes. That's harsh.

So, Hoggins throws him off a balcony. We're not saying he deserved it, but if you take the reincarnation theme into consideration, perhaps he's paying for the sins of a past life? Like robbing and nearly murdering Adam Ewing in the body of Dr. Henry Goose? Or maybe author David Mitchell has had a few bad experiences with doctors and critics in his day?