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Death as a Central Theme in Claudia Ulloa Donoso, “Little Bird

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Death as a Central Theme in Claudia Ulloa Donoso, “Little Bird”

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Death is a reality that surrounds human beings and every living creature on the planet. It is a reality that most are unable to accept. “Little Bird” by Claudia Ulloa Donoso, is a story that centers on death. Donoso portrays death as seen in different characters such as the narrator, Kokorito the narrator’s cat, and the little bird that the narrator saves. From the different characters, death is regarded in different ways. For instance, the narrator is tired of the subject of death because she has seen plenty of death that she states, “I don’t really need anymore.” Kokorito seems to have a placid acceptance of death and does not deny or defy it. Kokorito, however, seems to have plenty of lives. He kills birds, not for meals but to gift his owner. Kokorito regards death as a gift. The little bird saved by the narrator is seen to not be accepting of death. Donoso’s “Little Bird” therefore mainly discusses death and near-death experiences -as chances for renewal and as gifts.

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Kokorito, the narrator’s cat, is not afraid of death and regards death as a chance for renewal. This fact is reflected in the manner he handles his life. For instance, the narrator describes that one time, Kokorito went into the polar winter and returned after twenty days. “When he came home, he opened the window himself, drank some water, and fell asleep [on the narrator’s] bed for two days. Then he got up, meowed, and lived again” CITATION Cla18 \l 1033 (Donoso). This shows that Kokorito pays attention to death to a point that it does not bother him. Kokorito regards death as the beginning of a new life.

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Kokorito also helps establish the argument that death is a gift and a lesson. Kokorito always gifts the narrator dead birds. He catches them, “tortures them, plays with them like balls of wool, but in the end, he always leaves them in [the narrator’s] bed” CITATION Cla18 \l 1033 (Donoso) For Kokorito death is significant but for the narrator, it is something she wishes to avoid as she states that she has seen plenty of death already. The narrator regards death as a negative phenomenon but maybe Kokorito is trying to familiarize her more for it to stop bothering her. The narrator also presumes that Kokorito may be trying to make her understand the brevity in life that, lives “end in just a few seconds.”

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However, from the experience with the little bird the narrator saves, life is not as fleeting. The dying bird defies death by coming back to life. After this experience, the narrator does not seem afraid of carrying of dying animals that she states, “Sometimes it’s a good idea to carry dying animals around, to keep your hands in your pockets, and to never take off your coat.” From the dying bird, the narrator learns that not despairing on life will eventually revive it. That one should view death as a normal occurrence in life, but where life can be saved, even on the brink of death, then it should be. She, therefore, walks out of her interview seeking to thank the bird. The bird taught her the valuable lesson of “taking responsibility for lives other than [her] own” CITATION Cla18 \l 1033 (Donoso).

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In conclusion, the short story revolves around the concept of death, that people ought not to be afraid of it, because death provides one with a chance of renewal and life, and that death is a gift in form of a lesson. The story shows that death is a part of life, but so is life. The survival of the little bird and Kokorito’s numerous lives prove that facing death and not despairing on life will eventually revive it. The short story, therefore, proves that life itself is a threat against death.

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Works Cited

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Donoso, Claudia Ulloa. The Successful Candidate Will Not Have a Dead Bird in Her Pocket: “Little Bird” by Claudia Ulloa Donoso, translated by Lily Meyer. 30 May 2018. Web. 07 March 2019.

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