In The Bone Collector (1999), a falcon is shown at the beginning and end of the movie.
What is the significance of this falcon?
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The falcon symbolism is two fold:
1 - The falcon symbolises a freedom that Rhymes doesn't possess. He's confined to his bed and utterly dependant on other people.
In order to illustrate how much Rhyme misses the loss of his freedom, a peregrine falcon is shown in frequent close-ups on the ledge of his apartment. The bird gets to flap his wings and fly away. Rhyme doesn't have that same mobility, as we are constantly reminded.
2 - The symbolic, totem meaning of a falcon is as follows:
The Falcon animal totem comes to us when we require higher vision, or higher knowledge in solving current dilemmas in our lives.
The Falcon is a solar emblem for success, victory and rising above a situation.
At its core, the Falcon animal totem represents visionary power, wisdom, and guardianship. This powerful bird awakens visionary power, and leads you to your life purpose. The Falcon carries with it a message of transition and change - perhaps in your vocation, work, career, etc.
The last point is more relevant to the book as, in the book, Rhymes is intending commiting suicide when the case has been closed.