Examining the Handling of Death in, "Stars" and "As Birds Bring Forth the Sun"

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It's interesting how some people react to death; consider it to be a relative, a close friend, or even, just an acquaintance, we all cope with death in different ways. In Tilya Gallay Helfield's “Stars” and Alistair Mcleod's “As Birds Bring Forth the Sun”, the reader is taken into the lives of two seemingly different families that are sharing one aspect of life, mourning over death. Through the author's use of setting, symbolism, and mood it is apparent that the narrator in “Stars” has a more accepting view on death then those of those of the characters in “As Birds Bring Forth the Sun.” In “Stars” the setting takes place during World War 2 when death was so present, for most, it was normal. Although, for the young, Jewish narrator the feelings involving death were still premature. She finds herself in a sea of mixed emotions when the death of a troublesome, neighborhood boy, Ti- Guy, occurs. The once acquainted mothers were now joined by motherhood and respect for their neighbor's, the Duprés. During an act of remorse for the grieving family the narrator has an epiphany. The realization that Catholics too, mourn death the same way as Jews. This inspires her to paint a gold star for the Duprés; symbolizing that Ti-Guy's death, and any death in that matter, is just as significant as a soldier’s death. Leaving the ending mood of the story triumphant. In “As Birds Bring Forth the Sun” the mood of the story is that of the super natural. Mcleod's use of symbolism in “cú mór glas” illustrates that the dog is death itself. The death of the man was a vicious, freak accident simply caused by a misunderstanding between the six giant, gray-haired pups Larocque 2 and their mother. The man's two teenage sons who witnessed this horrifying experience are forever haunted by the thought of “cú mór glas.” The

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