The Phoenix

During our Literature class we read “The Phoenix” by Sylvia Townsend Warner and we did an analysis of the story during our class. Here is a video witht he story ad some information about the writer.

  • What calls my attention about the writer is that she is very misunderstood when she writes fiction, and that she is not very known for her writing. She died in 1978 and left behind lots of books, poems, and novels, but people who read don’t understand them, and so her books aren’t very known in Britain, and I already have read one story of hers and loved it, I found lots of messages and metaphors in it.
  • In this story we have been reading I think that the Phoenix symbolizes society, and how we are animals deep inside, and maybe for some time we can be “nice” but when we realise that we are being used for the good of others and not of our own, we can destroy everything.

Deep analysis

  1. I think that Warner makes the ending effective for me, because the story has a very abrupt ending, and what I believe is that when the Phoenix caught fire, he took everyone down with him, becuase he realised he was bening used, and he wanted to be free, so he kills everyone near him, and id reborn in a new and free life.
  2. At first I feel curious about the bird Lord Strawberry as acquired, I can imagine the aviary as a giant greenhouse full of majestic birds, and the Phoenix the most majestic of them all. But when bird falls into the hands of Mister Poldero and he abuses the bird I feel sorry for the Phoenix, I think that what he did to the bird is horrible, and he deserved what he, and everyone else, got.
  3. When we first see greed in this story is with Lord Strawberry who desperately wants the Phoenix, so badly that he goes to Arabia himself to look for the bird, he makes the bird trust him and takes it home. He doesn’t care about the all the money he has to spend on these animals, he just wants them and wants the world to see them. We also see greed in Mr Poldero, who wants money and to get it he uses the Phoenix, when he realises that people are bored by the bird, he mistreats and abuses the bird for it to age and die, all for money and fame.
  4. Warner makes Poldero a very unpleasant man because she makes him greedy, for money and fame, and the kind of person that would kill for money or else. I think that what he did to the bird is horrible, and in the end he got nothing for it, but his death.
  5. Warner shows me that most of us humans are selfish. We are willing to go anywhere to get what we want and we won’t let anyone stop us to get it. First with the Lord who goes to Arabia himself for a bird, and then with Poldero who wants money and kills a majestic bird for it.

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