While reading the novel I think one thing that everyone picked up on was the reoccurring appearance of green parrots in the city. They would either come in the form of an actual bird or a picture of one. Early in the novel Claire decided to name her case: The case of the green parrot, this got me thinking how are green parrots going to play a part in this novel? are they going to be used as clues? I finished the book with many unanswered questions surrounding the green parrots. Then I realized if the green parrots weren’t directly involved in the plot, they must be used for symbolism! The next question one would ask is: what exactly do the parrots symbolize? I believe the author used them as a sort of hope in a hopeless city. These birds were abundant and prospered in the city, in comparison to the hopelessness and scarcity of New Orleans. This contrast really highlights the poor state of the city.
The fact that this rare population of green parrots were able to survive in New Orleans after the hurricane in large numbers, is showing the city that it’s able to do the same with its people. I think their colour is relevant as well, since the colour green means to go at a light, these parrots are encouraging the city to go take action. These birds symbolize the abundance, prosperity and hope that the city is missing. These parrots were always looked after in the city, for example the ones nesting on Vic Willing’s balcony were feed by Andray the suspected murderer.They’re are cared for by the people of New Orleans, and it’s reflected by their abundance in the city. This shows that if effort/care are put into something it will result in prosperity. Rebuilding a city has the same values as finishing homework. If I care for my grades and put the effort in to get them I’ll prosper and succeed in my work. I’ve seen most people learn this through their mistakes. They don’t have real initiative for success so they put no effort in their work resulting in failure. But the one time they decide to put in the hard work the results are seen right away. The green parrots have given New Orleans this beacon of hope they need to bring their city out of the rubble.