Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

Migrations


A breathtaking page-turner and an ode to our threatened world.
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Why does Niall pick the passage from Margaret Atwood to quote in his lecture? How do the themes of love and destruction echo throughout the novel?

Created: 08/05/21

Replies: 5

Posted Aug. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

Why does Niall pick the passage from Margaret Atwood to quote in his lecture? How do the themes of love and destruction echo throughout the novel?

The first time Franny sees Niall lecture, he quotes Margaret Atwood: "We ate the birds. We ate them. We wanted their songs to flow up through our throats and burst out of our mouths, and so we ate them. We wanted their feathers to bud from our flesh. We wanted their wings, we wanted to fly as they did, soar freely among the treetops and the clouds, and so we ate them. We speared them, we clubbed them, we tangled their feet in glue, we netted them, we spitted them, we threw them onto hot coals, and all for love, because we loved them. We wanted to be one with them." Why does he pick that passage? How do the themes of love and destruction echo throughout the novel?


Posted Aug. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gvieth

Join Date: 02/26/21

Posts: 25

RE: Why does Niall pick the passage from...

What that means to me is that, sometimes, when people love something, they want to possess it - thereby not giving it/them room to grow, flourish, & exist. It smothers/extinguishes them.


Posted Aug. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 106

RE: Why does Niall pick the passage from...

I think humans envy some of the traits that wildlife embody and considering the world of this novel is one transformed by the loss of wildlife, the quote shows that over bounding coveting of animal traits affected their ability to exist. We manipulated the wild and now human life is threatened.


Posted Aug. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cville

Join Date: 08/06/21

Posts: 15

RE: Why does Niall pick the passage from...

It's a poetic way of indicting humans for the destruction they're causing by basically consuming the whole world.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbettet

Join Date: 10/01/20

Posts: 19

RE: Why does Niall pick the passage from...

I've thought a lot about "we speared them, clubbed, them, netted them, spitted them..." which for me negates the first part of the quote about wanting the beautiful aspects of the birds-their songs and feathers. It's chilling to think that we think that it is our right to possess and in the process destroy. I read a book called The Feather Thief which describes how beautiful birds of the Amazon were practically destroyed so women could have feathers on their hats. Beauty in nature has a right to exist as much as we do.


Posted Aug. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 305

RE: Why does Niall pick the passage from...

I agree with you barbettet. The first part- -the more beautiful part reminds me of some of the silly stuff I did when I had my first serious boyfriend. I snuck his sweatshirts out of his house so I could wear them and smell him all day. I collected anything that had to do with "us" and kept it in a box, hidden under my bed. I adopted a lot of his interests as my own. As if all of this would tie us together forever. We think by taking on the characteristics, habits, and behavior of another that somehow we will be closer to them- -we are showing them how much we appreciate them. Then it gets to the point we may think that because we gave so much, admired so much, loved so much that somehow we are OWED, which is the second, more destructive part of the quote. (For those who are concerned, I did manage to avoid stalker status!)

There are things in this world that are not ours to own. As man has tried to control the wild and use it to his advantage- -forced it to be or do something it was never intended to be or do- -or tried to squeeze one more dollar out it, it becomes lost.

When it comes to nature, I don't believe a lot of people really LOVE it. They love the potential they see in it for making them money. It's not how beautiful the bird looks flying, it's about being able to use the bird to do something for you. Knowing how important the Amazon Rainforest is to this planet, how sacred the water and the Black Hills are to the native people of South Dakota, how much elephants and rhinos need their tusks and horns... (really I could go on forever) someone will always see the money to be made by "owning" and greed blinds him from seeing the benefit to ALL.


Reply

Please login to post a response.