Flights: A Novel Short Essay - Answer Key

Olga Tokarczuk
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1. Describe the unnamed narrator's first childhood experience as a traveler.

Early in the novel, the unnamed narrator describes her earliest memory of travel. She made her way out of her house as a small child and moved toward the river. Once there, she had been delighted by the "undulating" (7) nature of the water, but also by the danger she knew lurked in the waters. All of these feelings later come to characterize her love of the journey.

2. What type of metaphor does Tokarczuk use to describe the river near her childhood home and why?

When describing the river nearby her childhood home, Tokarczuk uses the image of a ribbon. The ribbon metaphor implies movement, length, and delight, thereby foreshadowing the narrator's coming passion for unaccompanied travel.

3. Discuss the qualities of Flights that could qualify it as a Postmodern work of literature.

The story of Flights displays many different characteristics of Postmodern literature. It provides voices to characters from a variety of socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, puts forth the idea that chaos is inevitable, even within our seemingly ordered world, and has as its goal the exploration of the human mind. All of these characteristics are associated with Postmodern works.

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