Doris Lessing’s "Flight" is a short story revolving around an old man and his learning of accepting in life. The author, however, does not let her readers know much about the old man, especially in the sphere of physical appearance. Even his name is not known to the readers. Doris Lessing, alternatively, aims to steer her readers to centre on the old man’s inner feelings, i.e. his weird mood and his consequent eccentric behaviors. A close and careful analysis is essential for us to somehow get a reasonable explanation about his eccentricities.
The old man keeps pigeons and considers the dovecote his refuge. These little birds are seemingly his only pleasure in life, for all of his three grand daughters have gone with their husbands, leaving him with his daughter Lucy and the young Alice. Because Alice is the last grand daughter to stay with him, and because she is going to get married, he feels possessive towards her. Never does he want her to leave as do her sisters. He always wants to keep her, to have control on her, and to never let her leave, for fear that she will never come back to him, like the way he prevents his favorite pigeon from flying back to the sky. He keeps on considering Alice as still a child and on objecting her courtship with Steven the postmaster’s son. This possessive and somewhat selfish attitude has led to his unconventional behaviors. Miserably and angrily he shouts at her, asking her old-fashioned phrases stating his objection to her future marriage, and eventually threatening to tell her mother when she disobeys him. How childish it is for such an old man, not to mention his being her grandfather, to behave like this! Moreover, how can a grandfather be jealous of his grand daughter’s boyfriend? Jealousy, possessiveness and selfishness have blinded him!
The old man seems to isolate himself from everyone with his own way of thinking, which is considerably different from that of his daughter Lucy and of course, that of the young...
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