Flight by Doris Lessing

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Flight by Doris Lessing

By | October 2009
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Love is one of the most powerful emotions that will usually exist when everything else has gone. Therefore, it is really miserable when you have to let go of the one you love. In the short story “Flight” by Doris Lessing, we see how much the granddad loves his granddaughter, and how he does not want to give her up to someone else. This love comes to the granddad a lot of conflicts, he wants to keep his granddaughter but in the other hand, he has to learn and accept of letting go of his granddaughter as a circle of life. “Flight” was published in 1957, in a collection of short stories entitled The Habit of Loving. Throughout the story, all of the characters have their proper names - Alice, Lucy, Steven - except for one person, the main character: the old man. He is anonymous from the beginning to the end. Doris Lessing lets the main character go nameless in order to show that what happens to this character could happen to anyone. Moreover, the old man seems to be a symbol of the old generation who always wants to keep their children in their way. At the beginning of the story, we see the old man loves pigeons. He calls them homing pigeons because of their excellent natural instinct, they are always able to find their way home back even far away from home hundreds of miles. One of them is his favorite pigeon which he depicts as “a young plump-bodied bird” and often plays with by calling “Pretty, pretty, pretty”. It is without doubt to say that his favorite pigeon is an embodiment of his granddaughter – Alice. From this image, the old man seems to say how beautiful his Alice is, how much he loves her, and how hopeful his daughter can be like the homing pigeons - always knows the way home back to him, always be with him, and never leaves him alone. The old man may be still happy if he did not see his granddaughter “swinging on the gate” and “She was gazing past the pink flowers, past the railway cottage where they lived, along the road to the village”. His mood...

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