Birds, their freedoms and restrictions, were a common metaphor through which writers explored the position of women in the nineteenth-century novel.
Coco is reminiscent of the parrot from Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899). In a novel about burgeoning female sexuality, the parrot meaningfully steals the opening scene:
A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over:
'Allez vous en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That's all right!