BA English Essays | Whistling of Birds Summary & Theme of The Essay

Whistling of Birds

Whistling of Birds Lesson III, BA English Essay

Author’s Introduction |  D.H.Lawrence

D.H.Lawrence in full David Herbert Lawrence ( 1885- 1930 ) was an English novelist, poet, essayist, critic, playwright, and painter. He was born to a miner and his mother was a school teacher. His parents were not in a good relationship. 

They quarreled many times. Their quarrels had a very bad impact on the young man. This made him irritable. He became a school teacher then left the job and devoted himself to literature.

He explored the issues of emotional health, vitality, spontaneity, and instinct that created a lot of criticism among his contemporaries. He had to face persecution and censorship. But later art and literature were recognized.

His novels include” Sons and Lovers”, “Rainbow” and “The Virgin and the Gypsy.” He also wrote essays in which” Whistling of Birds” is also included.


Summary | Whistling of Birds

Whistling of birds is a depiction of nature and the objects of nature. This shows his love for nature and his artistic qualities to create vivid and simple content pertaining to nature. He elaborates on the changes of season in a beautiful manner, a change from winter season to spring that show the extremes of weather. In other words, the writer elucidated the two extremities of life and death.

Life and death are incompatible with each other. They cannot be together. If one starts, the other ends. If the other one starts, the first disappears.D.H.Lawrence has drawn a graphic picture of the winter and spring season. by the use of images, smilies, and metaphors. He describes winter as a season of death and destruction and associates it with woes and wrecks.

The writer does not like the winter season. To him, it is a very long season. In winter, the birds, the beasts, and other objects of nature postpone activities. They are frozen. The spark of life goes out in them. Many of the birds die in the frost and intense cold. There is little water in the stream in the season. There is little water in the stream in the winter season.

He likes the spring season and calls it a season of life and happiness. It is associated with vitality and activity. Spring season brings color and glamour to life. We can hear the chirping of birds far and for a longer time. The flowers in various shades can be seen everywhere and trees in their full bloom.


Description of Winter

The writer explains that in winter, silence prevails everywhere and people are sad in this season. Everybody is afraid of the snow and fog. The plants and trees lose their freshness. The flesh of the dead bodies of the animals and birds is eaten by invisible birds of prey. The forest prevails everywhere. The whistling of birds, at last, comes to an end.


Description of Spring

At last, the bright season of spring emerges. The birds welcome the approaching of the spring season in a state of fear and uncertainty. They are not sure of the spring season. The whistling of birds is very demanding that their voices are broken. The Spring season is life and happiness. The rays of the sunshine brightly. The voice of turtles is heard. Now the spring is in the bloom. The dove begins to coo. Plants and trees spread their freshness. People feel very happy. There is no remembrance of the winter season.

Writer’s comments

At the end of the essay, the writer gives his own philosophical views about the winter and spring seasons. To him, nature is very beautiful but at the same time, it has shades of ugliness. Spring is very charming and fascinating.  While winter is ugly that shows the other side of nature. This essay shows D.H.Lawrence’s great love for birds and natural scenes of life. He has described nature as sweet and horrible and it has two faces of beauty and ugliness.


Question Answers

Question 1 

The theme of the Essay or D.H.Lawrence points out the utter incompatibility of death with life.


The whistling of birds is a descriptive and touching essay that touches our hearts and we feel ourselves close to nature with its black and white colors by showing the two prominent seasons of winter and spring.
It provides a contrast between the two seasons of spring and winter in a very beautiful and captivating manner and uses figurative language. The writer paints an enchanting landscape of nature with his power of literature.


D.H.Lawrence puts forward his views on life and death. He tells us that life and death are like two poles apart from each other. Winter and spring are two different things but they are very essential for the working of the universe. One destroys, the other creates. One kills, the other produces.

It is strange, the utter incompatibility of death with life.

One is death, the other is life. One is presented by winter, the other is explained by spring. Both are enemies to each other. When death comes, life flies away. When life comes, death flies away. The picture of the universe cannot be complete and perfect without both of them.
In his view, spring is the name of activity and struggle, while winter means the end of the activity. He gives vivid images to describes his philosophy of life. This essay paints the stark realities of life in a simple manner. 
It shows the author’s attachment to nature and natural objects. He presents the beautiful sounds of the birds of spring as well as the horrifying scenes of winter.
There is another world. The winter is gone. There is a new world of spring.
Life is a process of change where seasons come in a cycle and follow one another. When one season comes, the other is ended. He presents two extreme aspects of life in the form of winter and spring. The writer stresses the point that death and life are utterly incompatible with each other.
He believes that nature is cruel as wells as benevolent but it does not show both qualities at the same time. Winter indicates the destructive power of nature. Spring is a symbol of the creative power of nature. 
In winter it kills and destroys. In spring it creates and revives. When death comes, life disappears. When life takes hold, death runs away. However, it is difficult to agree with the writer.


Life and death are a continuous cycle and both are totally opposite to each other. Death is like winter and life is like spring. This essay paints a beautiful picture of both the seasons of the writer’s mind and shows his thinking. Although we do not like the cruel nature of death yet we can have to accept it because it is reality and we cannot deny it.
We may not choose the world. We have already any choice for ourselves. We follow with our eyes the bloody and horrid line of march of extreme winter, as it passes away.


Question 2

Discuss the Significance of The Title Whistling of Birds


D.H.Lawrence always tried to add new meaning to life by presenting his beautiful artwork. He employed many images, smilies, and metaphors to enhance the beauty of his essay and to elaborate its theme. He gave depth and width to its theme.
The title of the essay Whistling of birds is symbolic and allegorical. It showed deep and hidden interpretation. It not only presents the simple cooing of dove or sounds of birds but also a bugle of new life with the approach of the spring season that creates rhythm and happiness in life.
In this essay, the writer makes it crystal clear that life and death are two opposite realities. They can not exist side by side. There is an utter difference between death and life. Each one has specific and solid existence in its own place. It is rather a universal phenomenon or a blessing in disguise.
Winter is a period of death and destruction. It presents grief and evil. In winter, water is frozen, trees become leafless and dry. There is no sound, movement, or activity, and everywhere are torn dead bodies of birds. 
Fountains of water are frozen. Death is presented with the image of choked earth, black tide, ragged horror, a surge of ruin, the thunder of frost, and beasts of prey. 

All the time, whilst the earth lay chocked and killed and winter-mortified, the deep under springs were quiet.

The writer shows another picture of nature. In spring, snow melts into water, and fountains begin to run, while new leaves from the trees and flowers begin to blossom. Even the birds get a new life and welcome the atmosphere by whistling and singing. 
Life regains brightness, color, and activity. There is no sadness, disappointment, and repentance. Spring shows gleamy sunset, threads of silver, bugles, fountains, lambs, flowers, and blossoms.

And then a new tide rises, and it is all life, a fountain of silvery blissfulness.

The images writer has used for spring show his love for nature, music, and art. The whole environment of this essay is a beautiful example of the use of imagination and the ability to mix it with reality. He presents a combination of fancy and realism.

It is one or the other. We are for life, or we are for death, one or the other but never in our essence both at once.

We agree with the essayist that winter stands for destructive power. The Spring season is a symbol of life. He seems to declare that nature is both merciful and cruel. Hence both the phases of Nature, death, and life are wholly opposite.


Question 3

How does D.H.Lawrance draw differences between spring and winter? 


In this essay, Whistling of Birds the writer tells us about the ruins of winter and its adverse effects on the birds. The frost held for many weeks. The birds began to die on a large scale. The dead bodies were scattered in the fields, among the bushes, and under the trees.
The flesh of the dead birds was eaten by the invisible beasts. Winter symbolizes death, especially the death of little birds. Then quite suddenly there came a change, the cold wind vanishes and the warm wind starts blowing. 
The spring approaches but the birds are still under the adverse effects of winter. By and by, the birds began to sing in a faint voice in the afternoon. The sounds of various birds are heard in the evening. Trees and plants also give out fragrance, lambs begin to dance.
It means winter has gone and spring has come. The writer has very skillfully presented a contrast between spring and winter by presenting the attitude of the birds in winter and in spring. Winter symbolizes death and spring symbolizes life.
Lawrance says that life and death are two different things both cannot exist at the same time. He tells us about the behavior of the birds and all other living creatures in winter and spring. He says that spring is a symbol of life and winter is a symbol of death.
Where there is life, there is no death


This essay teaches us a lesson that we should never leave hope when we are in distress. We should keep in mind that nothing is permanent in this world. Pain comes but only to go and gives place to pleasure.

The writer has very skilfully presented a contrast between spring and winter by presenting the attitude of birds in winter and in spring. winter symbolizes death and spring symbolizes life.


About the Author

Anila Ibrahim

An educationist, web content writer, equipped with an LLB and a Master’s degree in English Literature, as well as a Master of Philosophy in Entrepreneurship. I have a comprehensive understanding of both the English language and the educational landscape. This academic background empowers Anila to deliver content that is not only informative but also thoroughly researched.

56 thoughts on “BA English Essays | Whistling of Birds Summary & Theme of The Essay

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