Coursework on Literature: Jealous Husband Returns In the Form of Parrot by Robert Olen Buttler

2 pages
547 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Course work
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This novel presents a story of a compulsively insecure and jealous man who at the beginning of the story is presented to sit on a perch within a cage and somehow reincarnated as a parrot. The title of this novel is however deep as it is not clear how the consciousness of the narrator incarnates in the body of the parrot. Buttler however, having made this stipulation, takes the readers through a smooth course and flow of the novel. It is an interesting book in the sense that it brings about the provocation of the mind of the readers and engages the audience in a series of witty approaches. For example, rather than presenting the imagination of a person in a parrots body, the author in the name of Buttler focuses on the limitations of the animal regarding the brains and the nervous system.

The interesting part comes in when the author presents the supposed former wife of the parrot going to some Wall Mart Store and ends up buying the bird in the company of the current lover. As she spots the parrot, she says a word of hello and the parrot replies. She is somehow bewildered how the parrot can say hello but find issues repeating the word lovely bird. Here, Buttler portrays the animals brain as that which is selectively functional. We get to have the point of view of the author with the laid foundation of the noticeable aspects of the story that pits humans and the perspective of animals or the parrot that tends to defamiliarize the two sets of characters from the readers of the novel.

In the first encounter with the former wife, it is apparent that the woman is well aware of how to treat or pet a bird and by doing so, she knows that a birds feathers are ruffled down and not by smoothing them down. The author also portrays how the woman buys the parrot and cages it in the same cage the bird was caged while still living in the form of humans. While in the cage, the parrot reviews the events leading to his death as a human. In a flashback, he recalls how the wife was the promiscuous type, and out of his knowledge of this, decided to track the woman while on her usual act, up to a mans house and met his unfortunate death when he fell off a tree. It is however surprising how the story does not provide the circumstances surrounding the reincarnation of the man, not even the mechanism itself.

The novel presents the parrot as having transformed and behaving more like a bird, distancing himself from the compulsive jealousy. This is informed by the fact that his thoughts are clouded by the fact that he feels the urge to fly away and escape. His dreams come true when his wife leaves the doors to the cage open, and he finds the opportunity to elope. When he bumps into the wife and his lover naked, he doesnt seem jealous but rather expresses sympathy for her. The sad part of the story comes to its end when the parrot man regrets his reincarnation and only concludes that his life would meet the same fate if he insisted on living.

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