The Underlying Meaning and Theme in “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”

Topics: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach, Fable Pages: 18 (4980 words) Published: May 24, 2011


Chapter 1. Richard Bach and his significance in American literature

1.1. Richard Bach personality

1.2. Literary heritage of Richard Bach


Chapter 2. “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” in the context of American literature of the 20th century

2.1. Historical background and creation of “Jonathan Livingston


2.2. The fable in novella and its peculiarity

2.3. The motives of the “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”

2.4. The main message in novella




The 20th century is a complex and difficult time in the art life of humanity. The great social shifts of this epoch have rendered special influence on the literature and art of America. We can notice an extraordinary variety of tendencies, currents, schools, styles in the literature of 20th century.

The spiritual culture of 20th century is always connected with search of freedom and independence, with critical outlook of life; using the achievements of the past centuries, it created that new, that ennobles the human spirit. [2]

Here we deal with such literary epoch as literary modernism. The name of the cultural epoch which begun together with a Modern history and has ended approximately in the middle of 20th centuries. Its distinctive feature is a support on reason, aspiration to the absolute and unequivocal decision of all cognitive, moral and social problems. Withdrawals from such orientation name the beginning of a new epoch, the epoch of a postmodernism. This is a highly accessible overview of the essential ideas of the various modern philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Rousseau, Marx, Russell, Dewey and the like. This is a great resource, a concise overview of each thinker and the extent of his influence. These concrete problems we can observe in the writings of the main representatives of this epoch. Richard Bach is one of the main representatives who works in this epoch and his best-seller “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” is the clear example to prove the actuality of the given research.

The object of the given research is a fable in novella form about seagull learning about life and flight, and a homily about self-perfection and self-sacrifice, written by Richard Bach.

The subject of the given research is underlying theme and meaning of the story.

The main goal is the discovering the specific aspects of a plot, by means of the literary analysis of a story, to establish the connection between real events in a life of the author and the protagonist.

To achieve the main goal of our research, we should do such tasks:

1. to research the main events that connected with the written of this story;

2. according to this underlying the theme and the meaning of this story;

3. by means of literary analysis identify the mysterious plot and its connection with real events in the life of the author;

4. to answer to the fundamental question, what were the reasons the book became the world best-seller i.e. the story, that used in great request among readers.

Chapter 1. Richard Bach and his significance in American literature

1.1 Richard Bach personality

Richard David Bach was born on 23 of June, 1936, Oak Park, Illinois is an American writer. He is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, “Illusions”, “The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” and others. His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance. He claims to be a direct descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach and so-called American variant of the Sent-Antuan Ecsupery [9]. He is noted for his love of flying and for his books related to air flight and flying in a metaphorical context. He has pursued flying as a hobby since the age of 17.

Richard Bach attended Long Beach State College in 1955. He has authored numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Jonathan...

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2.Ковалева Н.Я. Зарубежная литература.- Донецк: Оникс 21 век, 2005. - 272с.
3. Краткая литературная энциклопедия: В 9-ти томах / Гл. ред. Кожинов В.В. М., 1998
4. Миронова Н. Чем выше летает чайка, тем дальше она видит.// Парус-77. Сборник литературно-художественных и публицистических произведений для подростков. - 1977. - №10. - С.266-284.
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