Catherine Called Birdy Analysis

936 Words4 Pages
Growing up, a change recognized by all, is wildly forgotten. This is the story of Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. It shows how the need for change, is discovered by experiences and exchanges by/from others. Catherine was a pushy, whiney, and selfish person, who only cared about herself. However, by the end of the novel, she is considerate of others, still pushes for her beliefs in a more polite and educated manner, and embraces the fact experiences have value. Different experiences such as the hanging and Roger’s death teach the horrors of society, her mother and the Jewish lady teach Catherine how to be herself, and animals like the ant and the bear teach her how the little things could be huge to others. One experience that leads Catherine to discover the need for change is her lack of both sense and direction. She often speculates about all she will do when she grows up. “I am no minstrel or wart charmer, but me”(Cushman…show more content…
“I am Shaggy Beard’s. For the sake of the bear, I am resigned”(Cushman 149). Catherine accepts Shaggy Beard’s gift to save the bear. In doing so, one must accept things they may not want, in the service or help to others. In this case, Catherine saves the bear from being caged and tortured, but in the process, seals her marriage to Shaggy Beard. She realizes the truth of how change, such as marriage to Shaggy Beard, is not only in vain, whether indirectly or not, can be helped or aided. “And wishes to honor the marriage contract in his father’s place”(Cushman 163). This quote is exemplifying Catherine’s sacrifice, is now a blessing, as Shaggy Beard dies and is replaced by his much more appealing son, Stephan. Catherine discovers, while it will not always happen, change can benefit in the long term with sacrifice. She also recognizes that delayed gratification truly succeeds in the long term. Change can manifest in struggle provoking maturity and
Open Document