Birdsong Notes- Chapter 1

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Chapter 1- Synopsis- A detailed description of the setting in Amiens, which then moves on to a description of the Azaire family’s house. The plot then focuses on Stephen’s actions whilst trying to find the dining room within the house. He eventually finds the dining room and encounters Azaire, Madame Azaire, Lisette, George, Berard and Madame Berard.After having a conversation with the other characters about music and Azaire's factory, Stephen retires to his bedroom. That night he hears strange sounds of suffering coming from Madame Azaire.  (AO1-understanding of the text)


Key Quotes and Analysis-

“rolled in from Lille Arras”, “lay beneath”- Imagery and diction is seen through Faulk’s choice of verbs. Verbs such as “rolled” and “lay” suggest a sense of tranquillity and peace within the description which is therefore reflected in the tone of tranquillity in the narration. These actions can be interpreted as passive to correlate with the idea of peace and serenity. (AO2- language)

Apart from those two verbs, Faulks uses limited or no verbs elsewhere reflecting the peaceful tone of the chapter. This can be seen in the first paragraph in which no other signs of movement are mentioned which emphasises the stillness and silence of Amiens. (AO2- structure)

Signs of wealth and prosperity- idyllic. Lilles and Arras contextually were major successful cities- shown through references to ‘tannieres’ and ‘mills’- which depicts its industrious side. (AO4- historical context)

Natural beauty depicted-

“wild flowers lay beneath overhanging trees”-

“concealment”- Faulk’s use of personification to describe that nature helps in hiding any flaws of Amiens.- this use also allows dramatic irony to take place as the peace and serenity at the beginning is then harshly contrasted with the violence and horrific ness of the looming First World War to come. (AO2-langauge)

Allusion- Faulks uses in reference to the River Somme- “The River Somme broke up and lurking in the shadows”- foreshadows danger and destruction of nature to come through WWI. (AO4-histrorical context)

The Azaires’ house- “conflicting angles”- hidden personality and secrets kept in house- foreshadows the conflict that will occur…


Luke Wilson


Brilliant! Any chance you could keep them coming?:) Only bloody Birdsong resources I can find!

Former Member


Thanks! I'll try! :D And yeah- I tried looking for some other Birdsong resources but nearly all of them were to do with dance!

Paige Hall


really helpful, thank you :-)

Former Member


No problem! :)



Do you have any notes on the later chapters- very helpful!



Thanks, this is very useful! ^~^

Former Member


Thank you Krystal! :D 

And by the way, I love your profile pic! :)

Former Member


Thanks Misha! :)

I'm very sorry that I took ages to reply, I hadn't seen your comment till recently.  I'm sorry, I don't have any notes on the later chapters but I'm glad you found these notes useful! :) 



I am unable to get the full notes even though i have created an account. Please HELP ME!!!

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