Friday, February 6, 2015

Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach

An extremely short novel with a good message,'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' was written by an American author,Richard Bach..It depicts the life of ambitious bird,Jonathan Livingston Seagull,who resembles all those special individuals who strive to attain perfection in whatever they do..The story was told using metaphors like birds,flight,sky and flock etc and it has some beautiful pictures fitting the narration.
Image from google
Completely dissatisfied with his routine life,Jonathan Seagull tries to reach perfection in flying..(Here 'flying' was used as a metaphor for the thing which is most important in a person's life)..In that process,the bird practices various methods in flying which seems almost impossible for any ordinary seagull..Thus considering his actions as inappropriate and rebellious,all the seagulls in the flock outcasts him..Outcast by the flock Jonathan still keeps his practice on..After learning every pleasure in flying,kindness and love in another world,he returns with his newly found abilities along with his few companions to teach his methods to his own flock on earth..Though,initially,the seagulls restrain Jonathan and company,they slowly spellbound by his flying techniques and join him to learn his perfect ways of flight..After some time,when Jonathan moves to another place leaving his companions (he treats them as equals) back to train his flock,the story takes a new turn..The flock slowly avoid concentrating on the flight techniques and starts praising Jonathan as God..They show utmost interest in learning about smaller to smaller details about him and his appearance and all..Creating a virtual image of Jonathan,they spend their time worshiping him and singing songs of his glory..Thus the flock remains ordinary without knowing any special ways of living..Thus they miss real joy of living (flying)..They left struck at the outer layer of Jonathan's life.

This story reveals the actual reality that we seldom follow/learn the great ways of ideal lives,instead we worship their Godly image..Thus we form rules and limitations and start living in those closed circles not knowing the significance of Freedom..Jonathan's story reveals this very fact that freedom is the foremost thing in anyone's life..Setting limitations and living within  boundaries take us nowhere and we truly miss the joy of living.

Here are few lines from the book..

Is there no such place as heaven?” “No, Jonathan, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect.

It always works, when you know what you’re doing.

He spoke of very simple things—that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form..

“The only answer I can see, Jonathan, is that you are pretty well a one-in-a-million bird. Most of us came along ever so slowly. We went from one world into another that was almost exactly like it, forgetting right away where we had come from, not caring where we were headed, living for the moment. Do you have any idea how many lives we must have gone through before we even got the first idea that there is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock? A thousand lives, Jon, ten thousand! And then another hundred lives until we began to learn that there is such a thing as perfection, and another hundred again to get the idea that our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth.

13 comments:

Abhijit Ray said...

Very nice blog. I wish I could fly and move away from the mundane. But then I realise, where ever I go, I shall bring me with me. Problem is within me. I wish I could fly within and transcend myself.

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

That's a wonderful analysis..Thank you so much for the comment :)

Ravish Mani said...

It is one of the finest book I ever read to draw inspiration :)

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Great review. Hopefully I shall try to get my hands on this seemingly wonderful book.

Bikram said...

That isa good review mam..

all the best to the author

Bikram's

Privy Trifles said...

One of my most favourite books!

Arpita Dash said...

Nice review dear, I will try my hands on this book. :) I have nominated you for The versatile blogger award. You can see your nomination at

Saru Singhal said...

One of my all times favorites. Your book reviews are too good.

Munir said...

I sometimes feel that Heaven is a state of mind too. However we are suppose to believe that our good deeds take us to heaven.
Good review. Thanks for sharing.

Kate said...

Amazing post ! Would you like to follow each other?
http://kate-fashionschtick-kate.blogspot.com/

sathish kumar said...

one among your best reviews... you make people to read with your words... Hats-off to you skill :)

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Nagini,
I’ve had this on my bookshelf for ages, so I really must read it. Thank you for the review and the reminder. Barbara x

Ankita said...

I read this book many years back and found it really inspiring!