Flight Essay

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Gordon is affiliated with Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In the following essay, he discusses Pepe 's moral deterioration in "Flight."

Critics have generally agreed with Peter Lisca's contention [in The Wide World of John Steinbeck, 1958] that "Flight" describes "the growth of a boy to manhood and the meaning of that manhood," thereby identifying Pepe Torres' experience with that of Huck Finn, Henry Fleming, George Willard, and Eugene Gant in one of the most familiar intellectual odysseys in American literature. I should like to suggest, however, that Steinbeck's short story is not really in the Bildungsroman tradition at all; for rather than depicting the spiritual evolution of an adolescent developing and struggling toward manhood, the story, I think, portrays just the opposite—man's moral deterioration and regression that inevitably results when he abandons responsibility for his actions. Pepe, then, begins as a child and becomes by...

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This section contains 839 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Flight Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Flight from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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