What are the characteristics of Jonathan Livingston Seagull?

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gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonathan is a loner and a visionary. He is isolated because of two related characteristics: his love of flying, and his refusal to accept the flock's statements about the way things should be/work. (Given author Richard Bach's longstanding love for flying, we could see him as a stand-in for the author as well.) He's brave, and driven by a vision he feels more than understands: the need for speed. As a result, he becomes transcendent, a kind of hero figure who is self-transforming. You might call him an avatar for the New Age.

icarusxat | Student

Richard Bach frequently touched on Messiah themed topics. His imagery is intended to evoke comparisons and transference across a broad range of religious/value systems. Ultimately, his writings lead the reader to view of his or her own role as their own messiah.