Study Guide

The Birds Love

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The Birds begins with lovebirds—the feathered kind. And, while we're all eagerly waiting for the birds to viciously attack the unsuspecting residents of Bodega Bay, we're watching a romance unfold. Sort of. We see Mitch and Melanie flirting and starting a relationship. But then, people start getting pecked to death, and that's a romance killer for sure.

Many critics have wondered what's the point of the love story in this film. The attacks begin with Melanie's arrival in Bodega Bay in pursuit of Mitch, but is this plot just a distraction? Are the attacks related to Melanie's pursuit of Mitch?

The other relationship subplot is the distorted relationship between Mitch and his mom—a little too close for comfort. Maybe the bird attacks, which illustrate nature gone haywire, relate in some mysterious way to the relationship dynamics. If so, it's not a very optimistic statement about family love.

Questions About Love

  1. Why do you think Annie and Mitch broke up? What evidence is there in the film?
  2. Does Mitch love Melanie? Does Melanie love Mitch? What evidence is there?
  3. We don't see much loving behavior between Lydia and Cathy. Why is that?

Chew on This

The Birds is essentially a horror film, and the relationship plot is not really important.

Annie seems much more capable of love than Melanie.

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