Referring closely to the essay Unbirthday and Other Presents, discuss why E V Lucas feels that `unbirthday‘ gifts are better than the regular gifts people give.
E.V Lucas’s The Unbirthday Gift is an essay written in the lighter vein. It tells us humorously how the unity and cooperation of animals helped the rabbits to scoot away from the hunter. The essay opens quite dramatically with a hunter’s description of his failed attempt at hunting rabbits. The unbirthday present demands the nicest of care…It is the only kind to which the golden rule of present-giving imperatively applies – the golden rule which insists that you must never give to another that which you would not rather keep for yourself, nothing that does not cost you a pang to part from. There are several qualities we can learn from this lesson. To speak in animal terms, the essay swoops down on the reader and captures his mind with the power of a fable. In fact, the essay looks like a story. But the rabbit’s comment ‘four feet are thicker than two,’ which is a parody of the popular saying ‘blood is thicker than water,’ leads the reader to some revealing questions on the attitude of human beings. Have human beings become a curse to this earth? Is he a protector or a destroyer? There is no room for doubt because the other animals’ motive for saving the rabbits was not devotion to the rabbits, but a dislike for human beings.
Do we have any unity among human beings? What has happened to our trade unions? Can we say that two feet are thicker, stronger and more united than four feet? What would happen if some human beings were in the place of the rabbits?
And most prominently, what may happen if the dream of Old Major in Orwell’s Animal Farm ever comes true? What if the animals rise up in revolt against human beings? If it is a matter of voting, rightfully they have the majority. Now we need to think on this.