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The Birds: Hitchcock's Movie vs. Du Maurier's Short Story

             The short story "The Birds" was written by Daphne Du Maurier and the film version was filmed and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The basic story behind both versions has a very interesting and suspenseful plot. Although they have some differences, the film and short story have the same mood and theme. Alfred Hitchcock did an outstanding job filming the movie and matching it with the short story. And overall, both versions accomplish their goal of creating suspense in their respective plots.
             The setting in Du Maurier's story is in a village just south of London, England, and is set during the period right after World War II. The film setting is located in Bodega Bay just sixty miles north of San Francisco, and it is set in the time frame of the 1960s. Both places are seashore towns, which have relatively small populations and seem isolated from the rest of the world.
             The characters are definitely different in the two versions. The short story's main characters are a family: a husband Nat, wife, and two children Johnny and Jill. The film's characters are a young woman named Melanie Daniels, a young man named Mitch Brenner, and the man's mother and younger sister Cathy. The minor characters in the short story are the Triggs, a farm couple who employ Nat. In the movie the supporting character is Annie Hayworth, a school teacher who had a previous relationship with Mitch and befriends Melanie when she comes to Bodega Bay. In both the film and short story, the antagonists are considered to be the birds. Even though there is no valid reason for why they are attacking, suspicions are raised when in the movie, a mad woman accuses Melanie of bringing "evil" and causing the catastrophe of the attacking birds. An entirely different notion in Du Maurier's short story is that the birds seem to attack when the tide comes in. In both versions the birds always tend to attack in brief intervals.

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