Seasons-Spring and Winter in "Whistling of Birds" by D. H. Lawrence
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1764 words (5 double-spaced pages)
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“Whistling of Birds” by David Herbert Lawrence is a depiction of the vividness of his writings and his own artistic vision and thought. In this essay he has elucidated the change of seasons- change from winter to spring- in an impressive way by the use of images, similes and metaphors..
Winter, as he narrates, brings woe and causes wreck. The intense frost that sustained for several weeks caused the death of birds. The remnants of the beautiful bevy of birds – lapwings, starlets, thrushes, lied scattered in the fields. The “invisible beasts of prey” had wolfed the birds. The winter had massacred the song birds and their blood-soaked skins were spread all around. The beings that could not shield themselves against its rigours shivered with cold and were exposed to the fury of biting cold winds. Winter thus had brought a host of hardships to the poor souls who found it hard to face the vagaries of the weather.
Oh, the long and dreary Winter!
Oh, the cold and cruel Winter! – LONGFELLOW, Hiawatha
Then sudden change appeared. The way wind began to blow depicted change of weather. The winds were warm and during the day shimmers sunlight could be seen. The birds began to chirp uncomfortably, without a pause. The doves were uttering strained coos as the influence of winter prevailed on them. Their attitude was queer. It was like a overlapping season. The surroundings were still snow carpeted. They kept on cooing with weakness. The breeze was still chilly enough to hurt. The subdued sunlight provoked the birds to chirrup in feeble tones. During the hard frost, deathly silence held sway. Then with the slight change of conditions, the whistling of birds appeared to be a peculiar act. It was extremely difficult to accept the change. The writer inquires for it, as the earth had been covered with the sheet of lacerated cadavers. The scene was quite frightening and alerting as the birds kept on tweeting and spreading their “silver” songs all around in the winter-effected surroundings. The joy and defiance of the birds amazes and inspires him; it is the image of all brave rebirths. The birds were reconciling to the death of the other birds. They were forgetting the dead world in order to join the new bright one.
“If winter comes, can spring be far behind.” –Shelley, Ode to the West Wind.
If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patc...
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.... He continues with his whistling.
Whistling affirms passionately the irrepressible renewal of life after death and destruction. The essay describes the renewal of the birds’ song after the long and dreary winter. The song is a metaphor for life that is chosen, willingly and deliberately. Lawrence is not alone in his determination to choose life. Many others have reached the same decision after grappling with the horror of death in their minds and souls. In Whistling, Lawrence celebrates the impulse to life that cannot be quenched--the hope that lives in all of us. He uses the metaphor of the whistling of birds for his depiction of this inextinguishable flame of life and hope in humans. Lawrence not only affirmed life but insisted on the inevitability of it:
“Who can thwart the impulse that comes upon us?
It comes from the unknown upon us,”
Faith of life is generated in them; they have escaped from the dreadful shadows of death. It becomes essential for us to relocate from the zone of death to life.
Thus the two seasons, spring and winter, have been clearly portrayed by the writer. The change that fascinated him has been explained in a vivid way that it enthralls the readers too.
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