Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Topics: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Fable, Richard Bach Pages: 5 (1544 words) Published: May 31, 2012
Liberal arts in social sciences|

Liberal arts in social sciences

The very first copies of this work were published in 1970. But only after second release of this book in 1972, it became a “best seller” and afterwards it made author famous around the world.
Some may say, that this book is meant for those who are bored of their life and its daily routine. Well… they are right. But still, this book contains much more than just a perspective of one point of view for those readers, who are searching for satisfaction of perfection in their mind.

And again – Richard Bach made his statement very clear about his book, that it is not a fairytale or story about birdies. The similarities with human life and society are obvious. Even at the very first pages Richard Bach wrote: “For real Jonathan Seagull – that lives in each of us.”

Richard Bach shares his spiritual thoughts about this book with following words: “Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

For a certain extent, in my opinion, this small and philosophical masterpiece of Bach is/should be compulsory literature for each of us, who are learning their way to spirituality, self-development… anyone of us who wants to explore the world, life, cosmos… to understand it and make their horizons clearer to see, what faces us ahead.

Even if this book is clearly defined as a novel and it is far away of our reality consciousness, I believe that this work is actually author’s autobiography, where he writes about his spiritual fight with society and his own mind. But… let me land down on the ground with this book and analyse it.

It is obvious that this book belongs to few magical forms (for example – supernatural or magical realism) as a novel and is more obvious that this book is actually a fable in a form of novel. But it’s easier to say and define than construe understandably this kind of work, as the environment described there consists of two (well actually if you don’t believe in spirituality then one) worlds – the reality (the real one on earth) with the beautifully described landscape and the sacred, spiritual world that gave much more realistic colours to everything. And the other aspect of defining genre of this work is to understand – can the birds talk (are they understandable) only between their own kind or are they understandable to everyone.

Through whole book there is nothing else than a birds, sea, clouds, beach and mountains, what clearly stands for fable, so the aspect mentioned above is solved, as there is no other characters or creatures mentioned. Also the author’s speculative describing of characters, their actions and environment, links the both genres together. And now we are leaded to two main threads of the literature form and genre of this book – it is fable as much as it is novel, its structure and purpose as novel accords to antinovel and psychological novel, and as a fable it definitely is magical realism.

The work is experimental, there are no doubts, because for early 70’s there is too much of spirituality, which was harder to understand than now, and also this novel lets the readers to construct the reality of the story from a disordered narrative. That may stand only for antinovel that also leads to fiction, what in our case makes more sense, since, in the middle of book, the birds can gain unreal speed of flying and later they even can teleport themselves with the power of will.

As I have mentioned before, the novel is deeply philosophical and may actually reflect as psychological realism, because of one specific birds – Jonathan’s – actions where developed the circumstances and external actions from other birds (for example, when they cast him out of the pride because of his “unacceptable” flying, what was prohibited for that prides birds by the elders). So, that certainly...
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