I have a book about symbolism, which I have just checked. It doesn't mention finches specifically, but there are several pages about the symbolism of birds in general. It makes references to a whole number of religions and cultures, and there is too much to type up now, but here are some extracts from it, which I think are kind of interesting.
"The flight of birds leads them, naturally, to serve as symbols of the links between Heaven and Earth. In Greek, the word itself could be used a s a synonym for forewarning and for a message from Heaven. In Taoism, they carry the same meaning, while the Immortals take on the shapes of birds to signify their ‘lightness’ and their freedom from terrestrial ‘heaviness’. Those who offer sacrifice, or ritual dancers, are often described in the Brahmanas as ‘birds flying skywards’. From the same point of view, the bird represents the soul escaping from the body, or to a lesser degree, the intellect – ‘intelligence’, according to the Rig-Veda, is ‘the swiftest of winged creatures. Cave paintings from Altamira and Lascaux showing bird-men may be taken in a similar sense, either as the flight of the soul or the ‘spirit-flight’ of the shaman.
The bird stands in opposition to the serpent as a symbol of Heaven as opposed to Earth.
Again, in a more generalized sense, birds symbolize spiritual states, angels and higher forms of being…
It is often the case that the very lightness of birds carries with it a negative aspect, and St John of the Cross saw them as ‘symbols of the workings of the imagination’, especially in terms of their volatility, flitting hither and thither without aim or purpose: what Buddhism would call ‘distraction’ or worse, ‘diversion’.
It is in this sense, perhaps, that the Taoists invested the Barbarians with the shape of birds, to indicate their violent, uncontrollable primordial wilfulness…
Later epic poetry was to extol the faithfulness of the bird Jatayu, which gave its life trying to stop the demon, Ravana, from carrying off Sita. The mystical interpretation of this story sees the friendship of the gods in the guise of a bird striving to preserve the soul from the diabolical assaults of the spirit of evil…
In the Celtic world, birds were in general regarded as the assistants or the messengers of the gods or the underworld…(swans, cranes and herons, geese, crows, wrens, and chickens).., the Celtic world as a whole held birds in profound veneration…
In the Koran, the word ‘bird’ is often synonymous with ‘fate’…
In Muslim tradition ‘green bird’ is an epithet applied to a number of saints, and the Archangel Gabriel has a pair of green wings. Souls of martyrs fly to Paradise as green birds.
It is a common belief that birds have a language…
Hopi Indians also attribute to birds the magical power of communicating with the gods. They are often depicted with their heads surrounded by clouds, symbols of the rain which is one of the gifts of the gods who make the soil fertile, and haloed with a broken circle, which represents creation and life as well as the opening of the gate, the symbol of communication….
In Kurdistan, both the Yezidi and the Ahl-I-Haqq regard the symbol of the bird as originating with the spiritual world."
The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols
To return to the name Finch, what strikes me is that finches are kept as pets, which may or may not be significant.
I really liked your point about the Oedipal attraction. It hadn't occurred to me at all, reading the book, but I think you are right. It kind of shows through very early when he instructs Halliday's girl to kiss him. So many of the characters - pretty much all - seem to have darker motives. It seems to me to be fair enough that he does as well, though he also stands as the figure of truth and honour overall. I see him as quite a nondescript figure though, but I did like him.
He is someone who is out of his depth and destined to fail. Reading it, I wondered why he had the same initials as Malcolm Fox. Coincidence maybe. But one possible interpretation is that in the end, he is not much more successful than Fox, for all his intelligence.
I also assumed Mina was pronounced Meena, as in Dracula. But then, it seems to be that there are a number of echoes of that book in this one. Perhaps this isn't the thread to be discussing that?
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."