Literary Devices in Updike's “The Great Scarf of Birds” Essay

695 Words3 Pages
In his poem “The Great Scarf of Birds”, John Updike uses a flock of birds to show that man can be uplifted by observing nature. Updike’s conclusion is lead up to with the beauty of autumn and what a binding spell it has on the two men playing golf. In Updike’s conclusion and throughout the poem, he uses metaphors, similes, and diction to show how nature mesmerizes humans. In John Updike’s poem “The Great Scarf of Birds”, he uses diction and figurative speech to depict the beautiful autumn season to show how inspiring and uplifting nature is to man. Updike chooses autumn as the season to set his story in because generally, it is the season that has the most vivid vibrant colors in nature such as the ripe apples which are described as “red…show more content…
Man will be uplifted just like the geese flying south for the winter by observing the exquisiteness of nature around him. Updike continues his portrayal of the vast splendor of nature through metaphors, similes, and diction pertaining to a large flock of starlings that flew and over and lit on the gold course where the two men in the poem are playing. The approaching flock of birds seem like a “cloud of dots” (Line 16) on the horizon to observers. The author compares The image of the steadily approaching flock of starlings to iron filings (the birds) stuck to a magnet through a piece of paper (the horizon). The men stand in awe of the black, writhing, approaching mass, much like children do when the magnet picks up the filings through the paper. By comparing the approaching birds to the magnet and iron filing scenario in a simile, Updike subtly likens the men reaction to a small child’s reaction when he/she sees the “magic” of the magnet and the iron filings for the first time. The simile purpose is to show how nature can make grown men feel like small, free little kids when experiencing nature at its best. As the observers continue to watch the looming flock of birds, the flock became one huge pulsating mass of birds that seemed as “much as one thing as a rock.” (Line 22) Updike once again eloquently portrays nature as absolutely stunning to show how nature affects man. The birds descended in a huge “evenly tinted” (Line

More about Literary Devices in Updike's “The Great Scarf of Birds” Essay

Open Document