Essay Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard bach

Essay Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard bach

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Richard Bach’s existential novella, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a rhapsody of joy and triumph; the triumph of the seagull metaphor for all humans against the prejudice of his species and socially imposed traditions. Written in the parable form in a very simple and clear language, it tells story of a seagull named Jonathan Livingston who crosses all barriers of society to achieve his dream of flying against the Council Flock of Seagulls which is designed to marginalize him. Jonathan Livingston Seagull a story is almost a fictional account of a seagull, which travelled against all odds of the flock to freedom.
Though, the fiction is considered to be the life history a seagull at one level, it is at once a metaphor or an allegory stating its deeper meanings. If we substitute or equate “Jonathan” to any man and the “Flock” as the patriarchal or conventional society and if we consider or read the story now it tells the tale of a man who fights against all odds of the society to find his self identity – the identity of an extraordinary seagull who conquered great heights in his goal of become the master of flying techniques amidst all limitations.
“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” is essentially a search for selfhood and by extension a symbolic search by any human to find and dream the contours of flying (goal) which is his dream. For this the individual self has to go through a continual process of reaching beyond itself, of expanding itself through varied experience, through multiple identities and relationships. The forms of life and the world seem paradoxical, mysterious and horrifying. To respond the world through pleasure, desire, despair, protest, hate, acceptance and to absorb the contradictions both within the self and the worl...


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...ife consists in giving up our existence in order to exist.” (Bishop, 171)



Works Cited

1. Altick, R(1965). Lives and Letters: A history of Literary biography in England & America. New York:Knopf.
2. Bach, Richard (2005). Jonathan Livingston Seagull. India, Harper Collins Publishers.
3. Heidegger, M.(1927) Sein and Zeit(Being & Time) Tuebinger, West Germany. Niemeyer.
4. May, R.,Angel, E., & Ellenberger, H.F. (1958) Existence. New York: Simoir & Schuster.
5. Marlow, A.H.(1968). Towards a psychology of being. New York: Van Nestrand.
6. Levinson, D.J., Darrow, C.N., Klein, E.B., Levison., M.H., & Mc Keer, B. (1978). The seasons of a man’s life. New York: Ballantine.
7. Bishop, P(2009). Analytical Psychology &German Classical Aesthetics : Goethe, Schiller, and Yung.Volume2.TheConstellation of the Self. London : Routlege.



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