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Jonathan Livingston Seagull

AUTHOR: RICHARD BACH


Jonathan Livingstone Seagull is a contemporary fairytale that relies on modern
time themes. Unlike the traditional fairytales where you have mythical creatures
here you have fictional creatures.
Its not only a modern fairytale but also an allegorical story because the whole plot
points out to something more that the story appears to be telling. Because of that,
we could say that we have a combination of an allegorical story and a modern
fairytale.
By writing a story about a seagull that was never satisfied with something average
but always wanted to accomplish something more Richard Bach actually wrote
about human life and the way a single person functions inside a community.
The time and place are not specified but it is generalized that the place is the sea
and the shore and that it is present time.
Richard Bach went with short and simple sentences and the plot was also like that.
A lot of different storytelling techniques are combined here such as inner monolog,
dialogue, monolog, description, and storytelling. Richard focuses on what is
important to the plot and he does notcomplicat4e everything with details.
Genre: modern fairytale
Place: sky, earth
Book Summary
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull could never fit in with the other seagulls. His primary
goal wasnt to fly every day in search of fishermen leftovers. He was a rebellious
seagull not interested in rules. He wanted to reach the biggest speed and fly as fast
as possible. He pushed his limits every day but practicing complicated twists and
turns. He separated himself from the flock and became a loner.
His parents begged him to join the flock again and try to live with the other
seagulls. He wanted to please them but he did not feel happy with that kind of life.
He was not interested in the flock and hanging out with the seagulls. Whatever he
did, he always came back to himself.
He was never satisfied with himself and always wanted to improve his flying so he
practiced every day. Soon he broke the world record and flew 165 km/h. Then he
collapsed and fell into the sea.
While he was floating sadly he heard a voice inside that told him he had limits in life
and that he has to accept them. He decided to go back to the flock then. It was
nighttime and he heard the voice again saying that seagulls cant fly at night
because they do not have short wings or sharp eyesight as the eagles. He did not
pay attention to the voice and just kept on flying.

Suddenly something dawned on him. He thought that he should bend his wings a
little bit and fly with the tips of his wings. Not thinking about the danger he went
600 meters up and reached the speed of 260 km/h. He forgot about his promises to
be a normal seagull and decided to keep on practicing every day. Soon he reached
the speed of 396 km/h. Not a single seagull in history could fly that fast.
He was proud of himself and his success so he couldnt wait to share it with the
other seagulls. But he was surprised when nobody was happy for him. Not only that
but also the elderly called him out for disgracing his flock. He expelled him from the
flock and ordered him to live on the rocks that were far away. Even though he tried
to explain them the new meaning of life, nobody listened to him.
He lived a lonely life far away from everyone but he felt good. His life made sense
and he was able to feed himself and take care of himself. He lived a long life.
One night he saw two seagulls. He saw that they were flying fast. They took them
from the earth to the sky. He practiced flying with the seagulls that shared his
opinion but he noticed that there were a few of them. His instructor Sullivan told his
that the reason for that was that this was only one part of life and that every seagull
changes depending on what they learn and Jonathan learned everything.
The Elderly thought him how to fly properly and soon he could fly even faster. With
the power of thoughts, Jonathan went back to Earth. He was thinking about his
previous flock and wanted to teach them everything he had learned and wanted to
show them how to be free. Jonathan went back to the rocks and there he met
Fletcher Lynd. He was another seagull that was kicked out of the flock for the same
reason Jonathan was. More seagulls joined them and they were practicing their
flying together.
After months of hard work, they decided to show everyone what they know. Even
though everyone turned their back on them soon seagulls started gathering around
them. More and more seagulls wanted to learn how to fly.
Fletcher became the main instructor and Jonathan went to teach another flock.
Fletcher remained in the hope of seeing Jonathan again.
Characters: seagulls Jonathan Livingstone, Fletcher Lynd, Sullivan
Characters Analysis
Seagull Jonathan Livingstone is the main character. He is described as a lonely
seagull who does not care about the customs of the flock but rather follows his inner
desire of gathering more knowledge and skills.
He adjusted whole his life to his wish and that separated him from the flock but on
the other hand, it made him perfect.
In the book, there was a part when the seagull tried to make others realize that they
are strong and that they should rise above the ignorance theyve been living in and
become perfect creatures. He told them that they could be free if they wanted too.

That was the collision of limitations of the ones in charge who were not ready to
change or reach knowledge and freedom. The elderly told the seagull that it is not
worth being irresponsible and then he kicked him out of the flock.
Seagull lived off of his courage and persistence while he was alone. Even though he
was alone he realized every day that he was free and he did not feel sorry because
of the price he had to pay.
On his way to perfection, the seagull kept his persistence in reaching his goals and
thirst for knowledge. Besides all of that his nobility was getting bigger every day
because he was worried about the ones he left behind.
Despite the fact that the seagulls kicked him out of the flock he felt responsible for
them and wanted to teach them valuable lessons. His biggest virtue was the ability
to forgive the ones who did him wrong.
He gathered a few outcasts and started teaching them what was important. The
flock kicked out all of those who joined Jonathan and when they realized that he was
strong and special they called him the devil.
When they wanted to lynch him he did not hold a grudge against them. He is
described as a character who always strives for something better and is never
satisfied with what is offered to him.
Richard Bach Biography
Richard Bach David is an American author born in 1936. He finished his studies in
Long Beach in 1955. Soon after he finished school he joined the navy and the
National Guard program. Also, he became a pilot in the Fighter Squadron USAF.
After being a part of the army he started his writing career and his first three books
were about flying a plane and they were a reflection of his love towards planes.
They were named Stranger to the ground, Biplane and Nothing by chance.
His book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull was published in 1970 and made him
famous.
The book consisted of a precise and incredible description of seagulls flying. The
book was sold in more of 1.000.000 copies.
For Bach flying is a way of life and life is seeking, constant learning, re-discovering
of what people know but have forgotten.

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