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Short Stories - Red Back Spiders, And No Birds Sing

            The two short stories "And No Birds Sing" by H. Bates and "Red Back Spiders," by Peter Cowan are quite different in their own ways but also share a few similarities in themes, characters and setting. Written post World War II both stories deals with familial impacts, one due to technology growth and the other for the reason that of isolation and not being able to provide for the family. The main characters are alike and also the setting resembles a bit but there are quite a lot of things that are different in each story. .
             The themes in both stories differ from one another, while ANBS deals with the materialistic and consumeristic society due to technology, RBS focusses on the isolation and its ways of affecting a whole family. The materialistic and consumeristic society in ANBS is all because of the rapid growth of technology and how some parents work day and night to purchase lifeless objects to fill their houses on the other hand RBS concentrates on how being isolated in a farm can change a person's behaviour and his actions towards the people around him. Although the main themes diverge in each of the stories there is a theme that is common in both stories and that is domestic violence. The fathers in the stories are both violent toward their child. The father in ANBS threatens to hit his child because she would like to spend time with him and asks him not to go out and drink. He thinks the girl is ungrateful because she doesn't appreciate that he work all day and night to buy the things he finds will make his family happy but in RBS the father hits the child because he plays with red back spiders when he shouldn't. In a way the father is hitting the child for his own good but hitting the child is not suitable. The extent of the violence in each of the story is different and in RBS the father is more abusive and beats the child around in a more inappropriate manner and in ANBS the father threatens to slap the girl.

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