FLIGHT ASSIGNMENT Q). My response to the story of flight.
The word "flight" has variety of meanings , for example, movement or path or journey through the air which are attributed mainly to birds because of their flying abilities and meanings like departure, escape, exit, freedom, getaway, retreat. Which are mostly used for humans. These two different sets of meanings for two different creatures have given the title an important flexibility to compare and to outline human behaviour with that of birds. The title also establishes a relationship between characters of humans and birds regarding their natural tendencies especially in the setting where both creatures live side by side.
One of the main characters in the story is the granddad, as well as the daughter and granddaughter, three generations. The author has used these three different characters to show us how each character differs from the other according to their generation.
The granddad a first generation old man, who is very sensitive and aware of all the things happening around him. Being the main character the author has used it, to describe a variety of emotions of his generation such as his dependency on others around him and the lack of confidence he feels without them.
Not only is he worried about himself but also others around him. Because of the old age, he is not only very emotional but also reacts very strongly to any changes around him. Above all, he has become very selfish, to an extent that he is not thinking in a rational way about the feelings of his eighteen-year-old granddaughter. Instead he is treating her like a little girl and most of all he is worried that she will get married and move away.
"She'll marry him. I'm telling you, she'll be marrying him next".
He is extremely scared, afraid of loneliness, silence and everything around him, which is important to him. He needs to be reassured all the time about everything, which matters to him, because he's scared that "he would be left uncherished and alone".
The old man 'Granddad' had a dovecote where he kept a number of pet birds 'domesticated pigeons'. One of them, a homing pigeon, and his favourite was in his hand when he saw his eighteen-year-old granddaughter, Lucy swinging on the gate of the garden. She was the youngest of the four sisters, the older three had all ready married and moved out and she had an affair with a young man, Steve from the same village.
He was angry at his granddaughter's affair and was worried that she would soon get married and move out, leaving him alone and uncherished. He complained about this to her mother 'his daughter' who said that its natural for an eighteen-year-old to get married and move out. She tried to reassure her father that his granddaughter was going to be in the same small village after marriage and he would be able to see her every day. However, the old man insisted that it would not be the same and wanted to keep her with him for a bit longer. The fact that he could not keep his granddaughter with him any longer made the old man very sad, miserable and in tears.
The young man, his granddaughter's boyfriend brought another pigeon for the old man and offered him very affectionately, which he excepted graciously. While her granddaughter and her boyfriend were enjoying each other's company in the garden the old man put the new bird in a cage, took his favourite pigeon out of its box, and let the bird take flight.
A number of other birds from the dovecote also took flight along with his favourite one, they soared high into the sky until they look like a cloud of dust in the evening. The old man, his daughter, his granddaughter and her boyfriend forgot what they where doing and watched the birds. Before dark, they all returned to the dovecote. The old man was happy and proud at their return but his granddaughter was in tears.
I think the author has narrated the story in the most touching and effective way. The rather sensitive way of human emotions and feelings had been handled in a unique way by describing the flight of the birds to the departing humans. It is a remarkable story of emotions and feelings of three generations with a sad and depressing end.
" She did not smile. She was wide-eyed, and pale in the cold shadow, and he saw the tears run shivering off her face".
The story of birds and their flight is very well introduced into the story, which has made it a very important part of it.