Study Guide

Gigi Birds

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Birds fly over the rainbow…why, oh why, can't Gigi?

Birds are everywhere in Gigi. After all, what's a more classic symbol of personal freedom and independence? As Gigi makes her way from a buttoned-up and goofy little girl to an elegant woman, you can almost see her take flight.

Here are three appearances by those winged ones:

  • Gigi's at lunch at her Aunt Alicia's eating that poor tiny ortolan: a bird has been reduced to fodder for lessons on proper table manners, just as Gigi's plucked from the beautiful park only to end up in her aunt's stuffy chambers getting ready to be eaten alive by society's plans for her.
  • When delivering her angry screed against romance, "I Don't Understand the Parisians," Gigi throws herself against a wrought-iron park gate. Beyond her, a flock of birds fly across the sky. If you find a more explicit cage-versus-freedom image, contact Shmoop immediately.
  • As Gaston begins to understand that he's falling for Gigi, he glides through the park, singing, "You're not at all the funny, awkward little girl I knew." In case we've missed the point, swans—not ugly ducklings—float by in a pond behind him. Hey, we never said this movie is subtle. And don't swans mate for life? (Only kind of, but we'll give Director Minnelli a pass on this one.)

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