critical study of jonathan livingston seagull?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonathan Livingston Seagull is an allegory, a presentation of the eternal challenge faced by those who want to live as individuals instead of conforming to society.

The struggle to attain ultimate fulfillment and knowledge is symbolized by Jonathan's attempts to master all aspects of the process of flight, not just the parts of the process needed in order to eat.

Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest fact of flight-how to get from shore to food and back again...For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight.

When Jonathan's behavior causes him to be "centered for shame," he comes to meet two angelic gulls who lead him "higher," to a new level of existing and flying - at first he calls it "heaven"  but he learns from the Elder Gull that "Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect."

The novel presents the importance of learning about oneself, the difficulty of remaining true to a purpose in the face of opposition, and the obligation to pass on knowledge to others.

user1027524 | Student

I dont know.