Jonathan Livingston Seagull

by Richard Bach

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What motivates Jonathan to return to the Breakfast Flock after his expulsion?

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In this enchanting and insightful short story, Jonathan Seagull is an inspiration; he is the one seagull who wants to achieve perfection in flight. When he reaches terminal velocity at two hundred fourteen miles per hour, he is ecstatic. However, he is soon ostracized by the rest of his flock and condemned to exile by the Council Flock.

Eventually, Jonathan is taken to the great seagull beyond, where he is able to further hone his ability to soar. He is happy there for a time, but he soon decides that he must return to the Breakfast Flock. As an enduring believer in ultimate flight, Jonathan is also an instructor at heart. He yearns to share all the knowledge he has gleaned with other seagulls who want to excel in flight and to be immersed in the truths that he cherishes. This is the main reason Jonathan wants to return to the flock, despite his outcast status.

Because passing on his knowledge is an act of love, Jonathan is compelled to seek out other outcasts once he returns. As time progresses, he is able to train other outcasts and eventually, they themselves are able to become instructors. Thus, Jonathan Seagull's desire of passing on his knowledge is fulfilled.


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