Back to: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Table of Contents
The moral lesson of the story is to believe in one’s own ability and power of change. It celebrates the idea that every individual is capable of doing great feats if one has determination and self-belief.
Jonathan is ridiculed for his dreams at the start of the story but by the end, he is worshipped for his great flight which he achieved through his hard work and strength of character.
The story is replete with allegorical references to the biblical story of Jesus Christ. Jonathan is ridiculed, punished and banished for his gospel of truth which is to believe in one’s own greatness.
He struggles for means of survival but on the strength of his resolve turns around his fate. He achieves perfection of flight and learns that greatness lies in compassion and empathy.
With the same message he returns to lead his flock to the straight path just like Christ. However, after his work is done he leaves. In hi absence, his flock gets misguided and gives way to blind faith and bizarre myths that are imaginative and false.
The title gives the indication of the main character of the story which provides the pivot of the entire plot. The individual story of Jonathan Seagull is used as an example to discuss larger issues of individualism, social pressure, self belief, traditions and progress.
It also talks about the seagulls that has a strong community based life which is based on shared customs and beliefs much like human beings belonging to particular religion, sect or ideology.