Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Brief Overview

The tale of unprecedented ambition and utmost curiosity, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach revolves around the life of a seagull named Jonathan who wants to conquer the world by flying off to distant lands instead of searching for the scraps of leftover food like his fellows.

Bach, through his animal protagonist, informs his readers that nothing remains impossible in this world if one trusts one’s abilities and potentials and work tirelessly to achieve one’s goals.

Brief Summary

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach is a story of an ambitious and adventurous seagull whose main aim in life is to do something worthwhile and unforgettable. For this reason, he practices flying day and night and soon learns to fly flawlessly to the utmost heights of the blue sky.

From the very beginning of the parable, the author has depicted Jonathan in a different light from his fellow seagulls by giving him the attributes of ambition and hard work bestowed only to human beings. Therefore, the protagonist’s greatest desire in life is to fly off to the far-off lands instead of wasting his time looking for the food as other gulls do.

Although Jonathan is never praised by his clan for his ambition and is forced to lead a life of an outcast, he never gives up on his desire and finally succeeds in flying at higher altitudes.

After becoming an expert in flying, he returns back to his family and opens a school for his fellow seagulls where he gives them flying lessons. As a result, many young gulls learn to fly high and become able to discover the world around them.

Through the story of Jonathan seagull, Bach depicts the powers of ambition, curiosity, struggle and hard work in an individual’s life. Trusting in his capabilities and strength, the seagull teaches the lesson of remaining true to one’s cause and desire.

Animals are generally considered to be unwise creatures following the age-old traditions and customs throughout their lives. However, the author Richard Bach does not believe in this notion.

Therefore, he portrays the story of an extraordinary seagull in front of his readers to remind them that any creature filled with the unique ambition to fulfill his goals at any cost can successfully achieve his aim in a nick of time.


Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a tale of ambition, desire, and struggle. Depicting the life of a unique seagull possessing the traits of insurmountable ambition and ultimate struggle, the author inculcates the importance of trusting in oneself and leaving no stone unturned to obtain one’s desires.

Jonathan’s desire to be different from other seagulls not only benefits him but provides opportunities to other gulls to aim for soaring high in the sky Conquering the world instead of remaining ordinary animals collecting leftover food of the other animals.

Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight—how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly…. This kind of thinking, he found, is not the way to make one’s self-popular with other birds.