‘The Hawk’ by Liam O’Flaherty

The Hawk by Liam O’Flaherty, 1949

The magic trick:

Using anthropomorphizing in a mature philosophical way

We’re off to Ireland this week.

When you start talking anthropomorphism, you’re drift perilously close to Disney territory. It’s so often a sweet technique for a kids’ story. Which is fine.

But it’s cool to see a story use anthropomorphism in a more mature way. This hawk’s exploits are being considered on a grand, philosophical scale. And that’s quite a trick on O’Flaherty’s part.

The selection:

His brute soul was exalted by the consciousness that he had achieved the fullness of the purpose for which nature had endowed him. Like a hound stretched out in sleep before a blazing fire, dreaming of the day’s last chase, he relived the epic of his mating passing, while he strutted back and forth among the disgorged pellets and the bloody remains of eaten prey with which the rock was strewn.

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